Orlando Magic Trade Value Column 2021

Evan Fournier is likely heading out of Orlando after seven seasons with the Orlando Magic. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Evan Fournier is likely heading out of Orlando after seven seasons with the Orlando Magic. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /
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Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic
Cole Anthony has had some strong moments in his rookie season for the Orlando Magic. Mandatory Credit: Michael Wyke/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports /

Category III — Rookies Galore

10. Mohamed Bamba (3 years, $23.6 million, Team Option in 2023)

Last Year: 6

Draft picks are like cars. They start to lose value when they leave the lot.

A lot of rookies still trade on their pre-draft reputation, especially among fans. Players on their rookie contracts still carry the expectations that came with them from the Draft. Even some executives will look to a player with that old Draft glimmer in their eye.

But coaches do not think that way. Coaches focus on what a player can do to help the team now.

And as players develop, they need to be able to do things to help the team win. And so coach Steve Clifford has determined right now that Mohamed Bamba does not give him the best chance to win.

The market will reflect that conclusion from Clifford. Everyone is looking to snipe Bamba off the Magic’s roster as an undervalued asset, hoping they can cash in on his unrealized potential.

The question is always whether the Magic are ready to move on from him or if the Magic still believe in his development. And that part is not particularly clear.

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  • More likely than not, the Magic use the back end of this season to give Bamba all the chance to make mistakes and figure out if he fits into the team’s future plans. But he is not anything more than a throw-in to a trade at this point. Or someone that a team grabs on a deal similar to the Markelle Fultz deal.

    9. Chuma Okeke (4 years, $15.1 million, Team Options in 2023 & 2024)

    Coming off a torn ACL and essentially a year away from basketball with a global pandemic in the middle, nobody knew what to expect from Chuma Okeke in his rookie year. The Orlando Magic have leaned into that remaining fairly careful with Okeke and how they develop him. They are still making sure not to put too much on his plate.

    But what Orlando has served up to Okeke he has dealt with fairly well. His role is still small, but he is finding his niche in the league. He has looked solid defensively and has shown promise as a spot-up shooter and a cutter.

    The team is still putting all those pieces together and letting Okeke get comfortable. That comfort is getting there for him even if he has not had the breakthrough moment quite yet.

    Okeke still needs time on the floor to get all the way back from that torn ACL. But the early returns have been promising so far. Everyone should wait and see what this kid turns into after a full NBA offseason.

    8. Cole Anthony (4 years, $15.9 million, Team Options in 2023 & 2024)

    The best attribute any player can have is availability. So Cole Anthony’s fractured rib is a setback in that sense. The Orlando magic have to put his development on pause as he recovers from an injury. And that is why he ranks here on this list.

    Anthony has had a solid rookie season, averaging 11.0 points per game with a 42.6-percent effective field goal percentage. But, as with most rookies, he was just starting to hit his stride near the midpoint of the season. In the 10 games before the game he got injured, Anthony was scoring 13.0 points per game and shooting a 53.8-percent effective field goal percentage.

    Orlando still has to really like Anthony as a scorer from the point guard spot and how he was developing and growing after he was thrown into the starting point guard spot.

    The Magic should have no interest in trading him. But his injury would make it hard to get any value anyway.