3 Orlando Magic players who are expendable, 3 the team can't afford to trade

The NBA's trade season is getting set to open in a week with most contracts around the league eligible to trade. The Orlando Magic find themselves suddenly in contention and perhaps at the center of the trade market. They will have to assess their roster carefully.

Markelle Fultz's injury has thrown a wrench in any plans to watch him develop and grow this season for the Orlando Magic.
Markelle Fultz's injury has thrown a wrench in any plans to watch him develop and grow this season for the Orlando Magic. / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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3 Orlando Magic players who are expendable, 3 the team can't afford to trade

Expendable: Chuma Okeke

The Orlando Magic already kind of hinted at what they think of Chuma Okeke and his future with the team. They picked up the final year of his rookie contract, but it did not feel like he was going to get an extension. He is essentially out of the rotation at this point.

Chuma Okeke did get called into action with both Jalen Suggs and Jonathan Isaac out of the lineup in Friday's game against the Detroit Pistons. He played 13:08 in that game, the first time this season he eclipsed 10 minutes in any game.

Okeke did not score very much, making his only shot in the game. But that is not his role right now. He is there to defend and give the team an energy boost on that end, using his versatility. And he did that well.

Okeke has been relegated to the end of the bench though. Caleb Houstan has gotten most of the minutes when Jonathan Isaac is out of the game. So Okeke is clearly out of the mix.

But Okeke still generates a little bit of interest around the league. Everyone still like his potential as a shooter and versatile defender and everyone with the Magic will still tell you how popular and beloved Okeke is in the locker room.

That is why Michael Scotto of HoopsHype listed Okeke as a likely trade candidate for the Magic as the deadline approaches.

Scotto reported several teams had an exploratory interest in him previously -- including the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets -- but it is unclear if those persist today. And with him unlikely to get a qualifying offer this offseason, maybe those teams would prefer to wait for the summer to take a flyer on him.

That is the unfortunate fate waiting Okeke. He has had few opportunities on the court so far and an uncertain future facing him with the team.