Orlando Magic Shooting Month: Shooting trades the Magic regret

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Channing Frye, Orlando Magic

Channing Frye seemed like a good idea for the Orlando Magic’s rebuild. But it did not work out. At all. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

There is an old saying in NBA lore: Always trade like for like.

It is difficult to trade centers for guards — eventually, you have to replace that center, right? It is hard to replace shooting unless you are bringing in more shooting.

Sure, trades are done with other thoughts in mind too. They may be done for cap considerations. This is how and why a lot of trades are done these days as teams try to position their cap for maximum flexibility. They may be done to clear the path for a younger player to take a role. Trades are not always about making the current team better.

But something is always lost in a trade as much as something is gained. Even when there is a clear motivation and a clear reason for a deal to go down. Especially with successful teams, something always gets lost in a trade.

Nowhere is this clearer throughout Orlando Magic history in trades involving the team’s best shooters. The Magic have had such a deep and rich history with shooters that seeing some of them depart left major scars and major holes in the franchise. Some of which it took a long time to recover from.

The Orlando Magic have a strong history with shooting and their ability to be ahead of the curve. But they have had some misses as they tried to find shooting. Even when it made some sense on paper.

More importantly, the Magic in many of these trades felt like they were trading a like for like. They felt like they were replacing their shooting with shooting. On paper, it seemed like the team was only taking a minor downgrade perhaps.

In reality, what these kinds of moves showed was that the shooter is more important than shooting. Especially for the roles the team was looking to fill.

That much should become increasingly clear. Every team can probably point to moves that seemed to make sense and on paper looked like a good idea, but something did not click. And suddenly they were regretting giving up the known quantity.

Suddenly two dimes are not worth a quarter.

There are forgotten shooters that did not click in a Magic uniform even if they seemed like they might. And there are players and shooters the Magic traded too soon who could have helped the team evolve and develop.

There are a lot of these stories in the Magic’s franchise journey. And as much as we should highlight the best shooters in the franchise’s history, it is also worth it to highlight how the team messed up and did not value what they had or failed to develop potentially strong shooters.

Every team has its list of trades and moves it regrets. When it comes to shooting and finding elite shooters, giving up on shooters too soon is just as big of a crime.

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