5 Orlando Magic needs missed at the trade deadline and how to fill them in the offseason

The Orlando Magic let the trade deadline pass without making any moves, content to see how far this group could go now that they are healthy and facing a more manageable schedule. They still have lingering questions and needs to fill with missed opportunities and options this offseason.

The Orlando Magic missed out on acquiring Buddy Hield. So what direction should they go to fill the needs on the roster?
The Orlando Magic missed out on acquiring Buddy Hield. So what direction should they go to fill the needs on the roster? / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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5 Orlando Magic Needs Missed at the Deadline, and How To Fill Them

Veteran Help

I subscribe to the Horace Grant Theory.

That is my self-stylized way of saying that every young team on the rise needs a veteran -- preferably one who has been deep in the playoffs -- in the starting lineup or in the deep rotation to help keep young players focused and impart wisdom in real-time in a way a coach cannot.

You cannot convince me that the 1995 Magic would have reached the NBA Finals so surprisingly and suddenly without Horace Grant's presence in the locker room and on the court (even if Shaquille O'Neal and Anfernee Hardaway were inevitable).

This year's team is the fourth-youngest in the league. Joe Ingles and Gary Harris have helped this team a ton in ways seen and unseen. They have been important contributors to this team.

But this is still a young team. And they give into youthful exuberance and poor decision-making. The Magic should be thinking about long-term additions to build a team for several years. But they also have a lot of those players already in place. What they may need is a good veteran point guard to settle the team down.

That might be why the Magic are finding it difficult to quit Markelle Fultz. He is a steady hand for a team that does not have a lot of game managers and point guards to slow the team down. Paolo Banchero is not quite there yet, and the playoffs should reveal this need.

This is why the Magic were linked to Chris Paul and Kyle Lowry at one point during the trade season too. Everyone can see the Magic need a point guard and need a veteran.

Those deals did not work out -- Paul was injured and stayed in Golden State, and Lowry signed with the Philadelphia 76ers as a buyout free agent. But that need still exists.

What Could Have Been

Patrick Beverley trade 02.19.24

We went over the other big point guard swap of Dennis Schroder and Spencer Dinwiddie. The other one was Patrick Beverley moving from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Milwaukee Bucks (and seemingly burning the boats on the way out).

The Orlando Magic did not miss anything here. Beverley's antics this year, specifically involving the Magic, are not what this team is about. And while Beverley has an outward reputation around the league, he also does not meaningfully impact a team anymore. He barks a lot for a guy that has been passed around easily from contender to contender.

The Magic, after all, acquired Patrick Beverley at last year's trade deadline in the Mo Bamba deal and then let him go to the buyout market (he signed with the Chicago Bulls). There just were not a lot of veteran point guards available to chase this trade deadline.

Where They Could Go

Like everything else, a lot of the options from the trade deadline will be available in the offseason.

Kyle Lowry will be a free agent if that is the direction the Orlando Magic want to go. They should not go that way. Lowry is averaging 8.2 points per game, although his 38.5 percent shooting would be nice. Lowry is starting to get long in the tooth and looks like he is in his age 37 season.

Chris Paul will also be available in trade again, assumedly. He has one more year at $30 million on his contract. So, he is an extremely short-term fix. The Magic could absorb him into their cap room and give the Golden State Warriors some financial relief. But it still does not feel like the right move for this team.

Other veterans available in free agency include Klay Thompson and Mike Conley. It is hard to see either of those players leaving their current teams.

The struggle for the Magic this offseason is that they are going to have to make a trade to spin this team forward. There just is not a lot available in free agency.