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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2024 Orlando Magic Trade Value Column

Category IV -- Comings and Goings

10. Jett Howard (4-years, $23.2 million, Team Options for 2026 and 2027)

The Orlando Magic have not seen their 11th overall pick in the NBA very much. Howard has played only 42 minutes across 11 games this season.

It is a bit weird -- although not as unusual as it might have been five years ago. The Magic used a Lottery pick, quite controversially, on the sharpshooting wing from Michigan. Everyone wants to see him play, especially considering the draft capital the team used on him.

Howard has given everyone many reasons to believe he should get on the floor sooner rather than later. Howard is averaging 21.5 points per game and shooting 40.2 percent from three in 13 games for the Osceola Magic. That includes a fair share of 30-point outings.

The Magic keep preaching patience, and everyone watching the Magic is in a win-now mode.

If there is proof the Magic are not yet ready to do everything they can to win immediately, it is how they have handled Howard. It feels like they planned to get Howard up to speed in the G-League this season. This feels like part of a development plan.

That means three things moving forward:

First, the Magic are not likely shopping Howard or looking to move on from him. Second, they probably need to find a way to create space and opportunity on the main roster for him next year. And third, if they struggle to find minutes for a Lottery pick on this year's roster, where will they find room for another next year?

This spot is also where I should say that I think the Magic's first-round pick is very much in play for a deal either at the deadline or heading to the Draft.

9. Markelle Fultz (1-year, $17 million) -- Last Year: 6th

We are at a decision point with Markelle Fultz.

Fultz will become a free agent this summer, and the Orlando Magic are starting to feel the pressure his lack of shooting puts on the team.

The Magic are not a development outfit anymore. They are not looking to grab players who may need time to get themselves right or need an opportunity. They need players who make their key players better and contribute to winning.

Fultz still can. The Magic still have a +1.9 net rating, with Fultz on the floor this season. He gives them stability at point guard and can organize and lead the team in times of chaos. They need a player like Fultz.

But his shooting has become a significant issue. For whatever reason -- the return of his TOS? the left knee tendinitis? -- Fultz's shot has reverted, and he is not hitting shots with the explosion or confidence he did last year. He is no longer taking threes- three total 3-pointers so far this season.

Every deal the Magic seem to be connected to, and every player Magic fans want most at this deadline appears to fill that point guard spot. It looks like the Magic will seek out a long-term point guard option in this next transaction cycle.

It does not seem like the Magic will bring back Fultz this offseason unless he takes a pay cut or agrees to a one-year deal, so that we can do this all over again. With all the questions about Fultz's health and abilities, it is hard to find him getting much of a trade market.