The Orlando Magic were never expected to make earth-shattering moves when the trade deadline arrived. They were simply expected to act how most rebuilding teams do.
They had some veterans on expiring or near-expiring contracts that everyone expected them to move for draft capital or salary flotsam. Teams were surely acting like vultures trying to get the Magic to let go of these players.
Instead, Orlando held firm.
The team swapped some heavily-protected second-round picks for a pair of injured players. They ended up cutting two veterans who have not played at all this season. And then they cut one of the players they ended up acquiring anyway.
It is not clear what the Magic may end up doing with the recently acquired Bol Bol. He is supposed to arrive in Orlando after the All-Star Break for some evaluation and there appears to be some hope he could return before the end of the season from January foot surgery. But nobody is holding their breath.
So the Magic enter the offseason with many of the same roster questions they have entering the trade deadline.
The Orlando Magic stood pat at the trade deadline and will face all the same questions as they enter the offseason and begin planning their future.
Gary Harris will be up for a new contract. And while the Magic are not going to be in a position to trade him, the sense that he will not seek a buyout from them suggests he may be open to returning to the team on a long-term deal.
Similarly, the Magic’s decision not to trade Mo Bamba opens the possibility the team retains him. They also would have the flexibility not only to match any contract offer he receives in restricted free agency but also the potential they could look for sign-and-trade opportunities.
So few teams have cap room this offseason, the Magic’s ability to absorb salary in a trade could make for an interesting offseason.
Terrence Ross will be entering the final year of his contract too. While the trade deadline did not seem to net the Magic the draft capital they hoped in return, they held firm to wait for the offseason and possibly to next year’s deadline to move him if they want.
Orlando is clearly not done helping other teams out if they can net some asset in return. And they will have cap room they could spend either in free agency or in trades.
There is still a lot for the Magic to sort through this season.
With a quarter of the season remaining, Orlando is going to have to try to maximize the team’s young players’ growth. The team has to see its injured players in Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz return to the court with some shape of health.
What is really important for the Magic though is the same thing they had to do before the deadline. Orlando needs a clear understanding of the kind of team it wants to become and plan out those next steps carefully.
So not a lot has changed for the Magic as they enter the offseason.
Still, it will bring a new transaction period and some new challenges. As the Magic conclude this season, it is worth resetting where the team stands and the directions the team might go.