Improving a Jordan Poole trade idea for the Orlando Magic

Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images /
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Orlando Magic
Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images /

Orlando Magic offseason: Reopening Jordan Poole discussions

Would the Magic make this trade for Poole?

The first point to get out of the way: Jordan Poole is a really good basketball player. Hot take city has taken over the internet in the wake of Poole’s shaky series against the Los Angeles Lakers, but dynamic on-ball shot creators with Poole’s range don’t grow on trees.

He is a better offensive guard than anyone on the Magic’s roster, full stop. There is a reason that he was connected to this team. And a reason that he seems like a player worth exploring, especially as the Magic seek upgrades to help them reach the postseason.

Yet the defensive issues are there. He is barely able to influence the game on that end, frequently floating out of position and lacking any strength to fight through contact or past screens. Add in that Poole is going to be paid like a low-end All-Star and his value is certainly not as high as the Warriors would have hoped.

Yet in this deal, the Magic are not giving up much.

Harris is a valued vet but he is nothing special, and he will likely be gone after next season, if not sooner. He might fetch them a first-round pick, but more likely a second. Isaac is a candidate to be cut because of his high salary and inability to get on the court.

It is not altogether that much to give up for a player with as much upside as Poole. He can explode for 30 points and six 3-pointers at seemingly any time. Playing on a Magic team with the defensive help to protect him on that end, his offensive firepower could be a huge asset to the team, and well worth buying low on this summer.

But this also illustrates the opportunity ahead of the Magic. They do not have to spend their cap room in free agency. Instead they can leverage players who might already be out the door to take on more salary and add a key starter to their growing core.

The trick will be picking the right player to make this investment on and push these chips in. That may not be something that happens this offseason. But the opportunity is there.

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And Orlando will be a team that a team like the Warriors seek out to try to dump some salary. That is a chance for the Magic to get significantly better.