2024 Orlando Magic Trade Value Column: From sellers to buyers

The Orlando Magic's posture entering this year's trade deadline has changed. For the first time, they are going out on the market looking for ways to improve their team. That starts with a careful evaluation of what they have and what they are willing to give up.
A lot of focus for the Orlando Magic at the trade deadline is on the future at point guard and what the team does with Markelle Fultz.
A lot of focus for the Orlando Magic at the trade deadline is on the future at point guard and what the team does with Markelle Fultz. / Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports
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Things have changed for the Orlando Magic.

Everyone can feel it, and everyone can see it. The Magic find themselves in the postseason chase and will make the Play-In Tournament at least, barring a massive collapse. Falling out of the 7/8 game would be a pretty massive slide at this point, too.

There is still a chance to climb into the Playoffs proper and pass the Indiana Pacers for sixth (the Orlando Magic are a half-game behind entering Sunday's games).

Paolo Banchero is an All-Star now too. That raises the expectations on its own.

The Magic's winning window is open. Everyone is antsy to see the team take its next steps and grow. This year might be a year for making the Play-In, but the goal is to continue progressing up the Eastern Conference standings.

And just like how everyone is excited about what the future holds for this team, everyone is also curious about what comes next.

Everyone wants this team's future to appear now. Nobody wants to hear the word "building." They want to see this team propel to a championship.

A lot of that starts with the Magic developing themselves internally. It begins with Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner continuing to ascend the ranks and establishing themselves as stars. Then, it becomes about filling in the needs around them and doing everything they can to make their stars' lives easier.

The reality might still be that Orlando has no clue what it needs or how its players need to improve until the team gets to the playoffs and sees how teams attack and pick the team apart. That might be why the Magic are waiting for at the trade deadline.

Or it might be why they have to make their move by Thursday's deadline because they know they have needs to fill out and have an incomplete roster.

It is still about growing and developing the right way for the Magic. The real question is the speed at which they want to push that pace.

As everyone looks externally to add to the roster, the Magic must also do some internal housecleaning. They have to look carefully at their roster, what they value and what they feel they can let go.

The Magic have to know what they have as much as they have to know what they want.

So it is time for our annual exercise doing just that. As we have for the past several seasons, we are going to go through and rank all of the Magic's players in our annual trade value column. This is taking a page from Bill Simmons' book.

These rankings ask if you would trade Player B for Player A straight up. These rankings consider not only how players perform but also their contracts and future status.

And with the Magic moving on from a rebuilding mode to more of a win-now mode, these rankings feel even more important and apt for change.