Terrence Ross was pretty public with how he felt about his future with the Orlando Magic.
The veteran forward said early in the offseason that he would like to move on to a new team. It was no hard feelings toward the Magic and what they were building. He said that if he were younger, he would like to stick with this rebuilding team.
Ross has still said nothing but great things about his teammates and their future on his podcast. Ross still talks as if he is a part of the Magic. And that is definitely a positive about the culture the team has built in this first year.
But Ross is on the other side of 30. His preference is clearly to be playing for a winning team. And all signs are pointing to the Magic trying to accommodate him.
The Orlando Magic appear set to shop Terrence Ross as they once agian test the market and find some value for the veteran sharpshooter.
Ahead of the NBA Draft though, there is still the little question of just what the Magic want for him and whether they will find some team to meet their price. It sounds like the market will not really open up until the Magic ease off their price.
Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reports the Magic indeed are putting Ross on the trade market. But rival executives are hoping the Magic drop their asking price from a first-round pick to two second-round picks, as they did with Evan Fournier.
That was likely the biggest sticking point that prevented the Magic from moving him at last year’s deadline. But teams hoping for a Fournier-like deal might have to wait until the trade deadline.
The Orlando Magic ended up trading Fournier’s expiring contract into the Boston Celtics’ massive trade exception for Jeff Teague and a heavily protected second-round pick. It was not much of a deal and just a basic salary dump to get something for Fournier before his contract expired.
The Magic do not appear to be at that stage yet. And there is at least the hope Orlando could get something of value for Ross.
The attraction of Ross on the trade market remains his ability to change games as a shooter and scorer off the bench. During the Magic’s playoff run in 2019, which helped him earn a new four-year contract, Ross was able to turn games with his outside shooting and spurtability off the bench.
That became muted in the last three seasons. Last year was perhaps Ross’ worst year since joining the Magic, where he averaged 10.0 points per game while shooting a career-worst 29.92-percent from beyond the arc.
That part will certainly make it harder to deal him and get some good value. the Magic are not likely looking to dump him quite yet for whatever they can get. They are likely looking to get some player back in return who can help the team in the near term.
Some targets the Magic could look at are swapping expiring veteran contracts with a playoff team, perhaps with some hope of getting back into the first round but that may not be in the cards.
Trading Terrence Ross for a player like Steven Adams of the Memphis Grizzlies would give the team a solid veteran to help add to their center depth next year — backup center is perhaps the biggest immediate need. That would only add $5 million over Ross’ $11.5 million salary for next year to the Magic’s books — still giving Orlando roughly $25 million in cap room this offseason.
The other idea that is bouncing around is trying to trade Ross to the Philadelphia 76ers for the 25th pick in the draft and Danny Green’s expiring contract. Green tore his ACL in the playoffs last year and will likely miss the 2023 season. His contract becomes guaranteed on July 1.
But the Magic continue to seem to hold the line at a first-round pick for Ross. So it is still very possible this is what the Magic will try to get at the draft.
If they are unable to do so, they may continue to use Ross as something to offer playoff teams if they strike out on shooters in free agency or as another piece that can be moved in trades this offseason.
With so few free agents available this offseason, and so few teams with cap room to spend, it should be a very active trade market around the league. The Magic could become a favored trade partner for teams that need to rent cap space.
The point being: The Magic should have plenty of opportunities to trade Ross even if they let the draft pass without dealing him.
But with each event on the NBA’s calendar that passes, the less Ross’ trade value will be. Orlando probably did not lose much waiting until the draft to push for a Ross trade, but the team will almost certainly begin losing value starting Friday, June 24.
For now, it is clear the Magic are going to get serious about trading Ross and to see what they can get from the market. The question will be whether the market will meet the Magic’s price or if the Magic will have to go down to their price.