Orlando Magic are not even close to pushing in for a star trade

Michael Carter-Williams has found his home in Orlando and established his role off the bench. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Carter-Williams has found his home in Orlando and established his role off the bench. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

With the NBA offseason in its quieter stages, the Ben Simmons saga has been getting extra attention. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst recently reported there is a new small-market team that has made a trade offer to acquire Simmons.

Windhorst has not reported which team made the offer, but due to the logistics involved, it probably was not the Orlando Magic.

At the beginning stages of a rebuild, the Magic were not interested in getting involved in any major trades that would push their timeline up. they want to give their young team time to grow without much winning pressure before deciding how to move the team forward from here.

Simmons, with his four years and $140.1-million remaining on his contract (topping off at $38-million), would very much be a win-now move for whoever acquires him. Let alone his clear limitations as a player despite his evident talent and skill.

At this point, if you are expecting Simmons to start shooting 3-pointers or fix his foul shooting woes, you are being optimistic. But even with his infamous shortcomings in last year’s playoffs, he is still an excellent player who would be useful to every team in the NBA.

The question to ask is if he will be worth his salary and the assets involved in order to obtain him.

The sweepstakes for Ben Simmons is likely to pick up even more as training camp draws near. But the Orlando Magic likely are not going to be the ones to expend the assets or time to grab him.

Simmons has made it seemingly clear he does not want to stay with the Sixers. Right now, the only hang up in any potential deal is the asking price from Philadelphia. The team is looking for a king’s ransom, even if the 76ers have little leverage or bargaining power.

There have been multiple reports there is a significant gap between what the Sixers want in return for Simmons and what other teams are willing to give up for him. This is the reason he is still stuck in Philadelphia.

As a Sixers fan, as you ponder which small-market team is now sniffing around, you might be thinking the only thing you would take back from the Magic is Jalen Suggs. There is no chance the Magic would do that.

At this point, Suggs is untouchable. Even before his first game, Suggs’ stock has more value than Simmons’ for a rebuilding team like Orlando. On top of that, Suggs will be on his rookie deal for the next four years. He fits in with the Magic’s youth movement and keeps them flexible to go after a player like Simmons in the future when the team is ready to push those chips to the center of the table.

Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz are also off the table. Both are reportedly untouchable from Orlando’s standpoint, and due to their injury history, neither would interest the Sixers in being the foundation of a package for Simmons.

Even if the Magic wanted Simmons, putting together a workable package that would keep the team competitive — especially at this late stage in the offseason — would be difficult. The Sixers would likely ask for too much and gut the team’s roster.

It has been reported the Sixers want an All-Star back in any trade for Simmons. That makes sense considering the Sixers’ championship window is open with Joel Embiid coming off an MVP-caliber season.

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Even if the Sixers cannot trade for another star, there are several teams who can offer the Sixers high-end players to help them compete for a championship more so than the Magic. Players such as Pascal Siakam, Buddy Hield, De’Aaron Fox and C.J. McCollum have been in rumors surrounding a Ben Simmons trade. These high-end players have more value than any player on the Magic’s roster.

With that being said, the Magic are already in a tough position in the pursuit of a star like Simmons or anyone else. The team is just not in a position to push their chips into the center of the table. The path they have carved will be one of a slow rebuild.

As a baseline, the Magic would have to include Terrence Ross and at least three other intriguing players.

And considering the Sixers’ timeline, a package from the Magic consisting of unproven role players is probably viewed as a third-string plan if the Sixers are unable to get a star such as Bradley Beal or Damian Lillard or one of the high-end players previously mentioned.

There may have to be a third team in order for it to work. In fact, the Magic would likely be the third team to facilitate the deal for two other teams, using the Magic’s cap space as a dumping ground for any unwanted salaries.

Right now, the Magic just do not have the ability to put together a competitive package. An offer of Terrence Ross alongside their favorite of the Magic’s young players — Chuma Okeke, Franz Wagner, Cole Anthony, Wendell Carter or R.J. Hampton. The Magic might have to include two of those players along with picks or other future assets.

Ironically, Simmons needs an excess of shooters around him to space the floor so he can attack the rim. If the Magic acquired Simmons, it would not only disservice him, but it would disrupt the Magic’s timeline to have to trade away so much.

Here lies the crux of the issue.

Even though the Magic are expected to be a bottom feeder in terms of wins and losses for the next year or two, they have an exciting future ahead. And before that future, they have a young core that will be fun to watch, even if they may not pile up wins.

They are young and the team can be patient.

Next. Markelle Fultz still has a lot of questions to answer. dark

Factoring in that the Magic would not only be trading a lot of young talent, but also discarding their vision, and the price for acquiring Simmons becomes way too expensive. Seeing Simmons in a Magic uniform any time soon is unrealistic.