Orlando Magic: The players they should target for their trade exception

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Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves, Washington Wizards
Feb 27, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Minnesota The Orlando Magic have been linked directly with Ricky Rubio to help shore up the Orlando Magic’s point guard position. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

Orlando Magic Targets: Expiring Veterans

Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves

The Orlando Magic desperately need veterans, guys who can be a guiding hand for the young players. With so many young guards on the roster, having one adult in the room would be a huge boost to them. It is why it feels very likely that the team tries to keep Michael Carter-Williams around.

One veteran who might come on the market though that might be worth looking into is Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio.

Despite never truly living up to his hype when he came from Spain, Rubio has pieced together a really strong career. He averaged 8.6 points per game and 6.4 assists per game last year in what was the worst statistical season of his career last year. He would even admit that.

But the Timberwolves wanted to keep Rubio around to give some injury insurance and to be a level head in a young locker room. He understood that was his role and it paid some dividends as the Timberwolves played really well to finish the season — especially after D’Angelo Russell returned.

It is not clear what direction Minnesota wants to go. There is a special relationship between Rubio and the Timberwolves. And they could still use his veteran hand. With an expiring contract at $17.8 million, he might make a bit more than the Magic could acquire using the trade exception. But there is still value in what Rubio provides.

Taurean Prince, Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers will be under the cap this offseason. They have $86.9 million in cap room. They will be one of the few teams with actual cap space to throw around in this weakened market. Some veteran help is probably fine and Taurean Prince’s expiring contract at $13-million is not super weighty.

But the Cavaliers could be fishing for a big deal. And they likely do not want to take on some long-term salary. The direction the Cavaliers go as a team will depend on the draft — and there are already some rumblings they could look to break up the promising SexLand backcourt of Darius Garland and Collin Sexton.

The same reasons that the Cleveland Cavaliers might be hesitant to give up a player like Prince is the same reason the Orlando Magic should consider chasing him down. He is a good defensive presence and a great veteran for a young team to have around.

The 6-foot-7 forward averaged 9.5 points per game in 41 games with the Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers last year. He shot 40.1-percent from beyond the arc, including 38.5-percent with the Cavaliers.

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Prince would be the perfect 3-and-D player to help a young team like the Magic. Again, a reason the Cavaliers would not likely part with him.