4 Directions the Orlando Magic can go with trades on draft night
Acquisition of a Young Star
Mikal Bridges would fit this Orlando Magic roster perfectly.
He is 26 years old and is one of the best movement shooters in the NBA. The Brooklyn Nets made him the primary scorer in their last 27 games and he produced.
Bridges averaged 26.1 points per game and shot 37.6% from three on 6.7 attempts per game. He is shooting a lot of shots but also at great percentages.
He shot almost 19 shots per game but was 17th in the NBA in points per game after the All-Star break. Bridges is the real deal.
Orlando would be acquiring a starting shooting guard at 6-foot-6 who will make the starting unit a tall and athletic group. Oftentimes they would have the ability to switch everything on defense and expose matchups on offense. And Bridges has already proven himself a solid complementary piece and defender with the Phoenix Suns.
This would be where the Magic push in their chips to acquire a borderline All-Star. He can play complementary basketball spreading the floor for Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner but also carry a lot of the offense. Bridges also would still be under contract until the 2026 season if acquired.
Opposing teams would have a difficult time trying to guard the starting unit and could become one of the best starting units in the NBA.
The decision ultimately is determined by which direction the Brooklyn Nets are headed. The team is mismatched with win-now veterans and young talent like Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson (a restricted free agent), Nic Claxton and Cam Thomas.
Unfortunately, the dreadful Ben Simmons contract gives them little wiggle room to bolster their current roster and the first-round picks they acquired in the Kevin Durant deal with the Phoenix Suns are looking to be late first-rounders.
That is not an ideal starting point to compete at the highest level amongst the NBA’s powerhouses.
If the Nets decide that they need to officially rebuild this would be a great offer for them. They acquire two lottery picks this year and a former fifth overall selection in Jalen Suggs.
The deal would give Brooklyn a young core to rebuild with and restart their process of acquiring draft capital.
The Magic might need to give up more draft assets to solidify Brooklyn’s interest, but Bridges would be one of the better players to add to this Orlando team.
Portland Trail Blazers
This trade gives the Portland Trail Blazers a multitude of options. They can trade their three picks in the top 11 to find stars to complement Damian Lillard, or they can trade Lillard to fully rebuild and draft three lottery picks.
It seems like Lillard prefers to stay in Portland according to Sports Illustrated, but the team still has to make significant changes. They finished bottom three in the Western Conference and do not have many proven players that can help Lillard push for the playoffs.
If both Lillard and Portland decide that it is best for Lillard to chase a title elsewhere, a trade could be imminent.
According to NBA Insider Chris Haynes, the Blazers have released a rumored statement that Shaedon Sharpe is untouchable in trade discussions, but have not left out starting shooting guard, and Altamonte Springs-native, Anfernee Simons.
His contract is the biggest impediment to a deal, but he is a scorer the Magic could rely on to boost a lagging offense.
He averaged 21.1 points per game last year and can create his own shot. But he has also shown flashes of facilitating for others averaging 4.1 assists per game as well.
Simons is only 24 years old but has played five seasons in the NBA. He can gel with Orlando’s starting unit as a primary shot creator, movement shooter, and active passer.
He shot 9.1 threes 3-point attempts per game last year. That number would account for 29 percent of Orlando’s threes they take as a team combined. Simons would bring instant offense and a 38.7 percent career three-point percentage.
Orlando would be giving up a significant amount of assets to acquire Simons, but they would keep a large part of their core together and continue on their way to compete with the best teams in the league.
If Portland were to make this deal they would have to be busy on draft night to trade all three lottery picks to find help for Lillard, but it can be done.