It feels like the wheels have fallen off for the Orlando Magic.
That is what happens when you sit in 14th place in the Eastern Conference. Injuries are the certain reason why the team has fallen so hard. But there were still plenty of questions the Magic could not answer because of them. And Orlando still failed a lot of tests along the way.
With the trade deadline approaching, the Magic are facing some big decisions. Their future is coming into greater focus and there is clearly an opportunity now to shift the roster and begin transitioning to a new generation for the team.
The promise of a high draft pick will do that. And the Magic are in a position where they can make those changes.
There are several contract decisions to be made that will have far-reaching consequences for the team. Orlando is facing an injury-filled season that is an easy excuse for the fall down the standings. The Magic should feel like they can bounce back quickly with the right mix of health, shrewd dealmaking and the right draft pick.
The team has to get there. That makes this year’s trade deadline all the more important. Orlando has to extract the right value from several key players all while setting up a future with brighter prospects for the short- and long-term.
The Orlando Magic are poised to make changes to their roster and reset the team a bit. The team will be active as the trade deadline approaches.
That can be especially difficult when a team is put in the position of being a seller. Whatever moves the Magic make, it is not likely one that will make the team immediately better or better on paper. The Magic are finally going to have to take some calculated gambles and put something on the line.
Staying the course will not do, even if the Magic feel confident that a fully healthy squad can get them back to the playoffs. this Magic team needs to make some changes and shift the roster. It certainly needs to become a more modern outfit.
That change will inevitably begin with this week’s trade deadline. The Magic have to decide whether to retain Evan Fournier and Khem Birch before they become free agents this offseason. And the trade rumors only seem to be heating up around Aaron Gordon as he enters the final year of his contract next year.
The time for change certainly seems like it is coming.
As we have done for the past several seasons, it is time for our take on the Bill Simmons Trade Value column. The following is a ranking of the Magic’s players based on whether you would trade one straight up for the next taking into account both player production and their future contract.