5 Orlando Magic trade targets from Lottery teams

The Orlando Magic are coming off a breakthrough season that saw them reach the Playoffs and are sitting on tons of cap room. But that cap room is not just reserved for free agents. They should be aggressive seeking trades using their ample cap space.
The Orlando Magic will have plenty of options to improve their roster. They will start with free agency but trades are a big part of the puzzle too. Especially with Lottery teams in transition.
The Orlando Magic will have plenty of options to improve their roster. They will start with free agency but trades are a big part of the puzzle too. Especially with Lottery teams in transition. / Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
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4. Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers

No player probably gets Orlando Magic fans excited or calling for trades as trying to bring Anfernee Simons back home to Central Florida. The Altamonte Springs-born, named-after-Anfernee-Hardaway, Edgewater High School-alum guard has carved a solid start to his career with the Portland Trail Blazers.

In a lot of ways, Simons checks off a lot of boxes for the Magic. He is the ideal target for this young team.

He is a guard who can play off the ball and off of other stars and hit from the outside. He can play the point and take over games as a primary scorer when needed. He has good size and at least some defensive potential even if he has yet to show it playing for mediocre Blazers teams.

Last year, Simons averaged 22.6 points per game and 5.5 assists per game last year, both career highs. He had shooting splits of 43.0/38.5/91.6. The 38.5-percent 3-point shooting came on 8.8 3-point attempts per game. He made 42.7 percent of his catch-and-shoot 3-pointers.

That is all encouraging that Anfernee Simons can be a big-time scorer when needed but can also step into a secondary role and play off Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner. That may be the ideal of what the Magic are looking for in a lead guard to play alongside Jalen Suggs.

Simons is not known as a defender at all. But he has also played on some pretty poor Trail Blazers teams the last few years as he emerged as a primary starter.

The conclusion may be that Simons is not capable of being the lead star on a winning team. But he could be a good secondary player for a team like the Magic in need of a shooter. With Simons under contract for two more seasons at $25.9 million and $27.7 million, there is some control to see if this could work.

The biggest question with Simons is availability. He had played 65 games in a season once in his career. He played in only 46 games last year after dealing with a knee injury.

What would it take to bring Simons to Orlando? Mike Richman of Locked On Blazers pitched me a deal to bring him to Orlando, which I expanded to include another starter-level center who has dealt with injuries the last several years in Robert Williams.

The Blazers are in full rebuild mode. With two Lottery picks and hope to continue developing Scoot Henderson after an up-and-down rookie year, the Blazers are most interested in clearing cap room and collecting future assets.

Portland is slated to be $4.2 million below the tax line according to Spotrac. The Blazers are $53.1 million over the salary cap including team cap holds and other considerations. A team that is expected to be the worst team in the Western Conference again should not be anywhere near the tax.

This is why the Blazers are looking to move Simons. They want to cut their payroll. That is an area the Magic can help with their extra cap room and why a deal seems feasible between the two teams.

Richman pitched this deal (which I expanded to add Williams):

Magic receive: Anfernee Simons, Robert Williams

Trail Blazers receive: Wendell Carter, Anthony Black, 2025 first-round pick

The Magic would likely be hesitant to include Anthony Black in any trade. As things stand, the Magic probably want Anthony Black to fill in Markelle Fultz's role next year. Black earned his playing time early in the year but got lost in the shuffle.

That might make other teams think Black is available. But giving up on a player at his age is usually a bad decision.

Still, Orlando will have a choice to make when it thinks about whether to make trades. To get something good, you have to give up something good. Among their movable salaries will be Wendell Carter who is vital as the team's starting center for now. It would be hard to move him without having a starting center in place or ready to replace him.

But Carter had a rough season with injuries and defining a new role with this growing team.

This deal would benefit Portland by giving the team a first-round pick but also by cutting their payroll by $19 million. Orlando could do this deal and still have $13-24 million more to spend this summer.

The Magic could also look into Malcolm Brogdon (15.7 points per game, 41.2 percent shooting from three and 39 games played last year). He was another favored target at the trade deadline for the Magic.