4 Directions the Orlando Magic can go with trades on draft night
Acquisition of Draft Capital
As one of the few teams with cap room, the Orlando Magic could also be in a position to start hoarding draft capital, taking on some lengthy contracts but getting draft capital in the process.
Then again, the Magic seem poised to make a postseason push and have vocally valued their flexibility. So it may not make sense to add more draft picks to an already crowded roster or take on big salaries.
Still, this is a path to walk and one worth discussing and exploring.
In the proposed deal above, Magic agree to make this trade to absorb Duncan Robinson’s contract. The Miami Heat would pair Duncan Robinson with Nikola Jovic, their first-round pick last year, and their 18th pick on Thursday.
Robinson’s contract is fully guaranteed for the next two seasons paying him $18 million next year and $19.4 million the following season. The contract simply does not justify the product on the court, and that is why the Heat have to give up more assets to move him. They have to use a first-round pick to sweeten the pot.
Robinson had a down year for the team and barely cracked the rotation for most of the season, but was called on during Miami’s playoff run with the injury to Tyler Herro.
But Robinson has a skillset that the Magic desperately need: Shooting. He is a 39.9 percent career three-point shooter and can be a spark plug off the bench to help spread the floor for Orlando’s offense.
The Magic only makes this deal if they feel that either Cole Anthony or Jalen Suggs can contribute in the starting lineup or they can find a replacement for Gary Harris in free agency.
It would be a tough pill to swallow to trade Harris off of his historic season shooting the basketball, but acquiring another first round pick might be too enticing if the team does not quite feel ready to take that next step.
Orlando is in a great position to take on a large contract from a contender looking to clear cap space. The Heat are finishing a Finals run and will look to find star pieces to compete for the title next to Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo next season.
Orlando could be a team that helps facilitate a three-team trade if Miami is trying to get Damian Lillard. Then again, the Magic have often been loathe to help the Heat, a direct division rival.
This would be a salary dump by the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas is in a difficult position this offseason after not making the playoffs last year.
The team has two large contracts in particular that rarely suited up for the team last season. Enter Davis Bertans and JaVale McGee.
Bertans played 10.9 minutes per game and only played in 45 games while battling a calf injury. McGee played in 42 games this season at a mere 8.5 minutes per game in his first year with the Mavericks. Dallas can afford to move on from both.
The Magic would be taking on two fully guaranteed contracts from both players totaling a whopping $22.7 million.
However, the following season Bertans can be waived and is only guaranteed $5 million of his contract and McGee has a player option but it is a modest $6 million in the final year of the deal.
If the Magic are willing to take on salary to acquire the 10th overall pick then making this call would be easy.
It would be an added benefit if Bertans looked ready to play at the start of training camp and finds a role off the bench. He is a career 39.8 percent shooter from three after all.
Dallas can waive Jonathan Isaac’s contract and only pay him $7.6 million. Bol Bol also has a fully non-guaranteed salary. The Mavs would save $15.1 million in salary by offloading their first-round pick.
Orlando would be willing to take on more money this season for a chance at another top-10 selection.
This path seems the least likely as the Magic have valued their financial flexibility and do not seem to have enough roster space to add too many draft picks.