5 Orlando Magic trade targets from teams that fell short in the playoffs

The Orlando Magic are a team on the rise with plenty of money to spend this offseason. One of the ways they can improve is by hunting for chances to take advantage of teams seeking a new direction.
The New Orleans Pelicans appear poised for major changes this offseason after another first-round Playoff exit.
The New Orleans Pelicans appear poised for major changes this offseason after another first-round Playoff exit. / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages
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3. Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers' exit from the playoffs in the second round has done very little to quiet noise that they will make some significant changes this offseason. They have already fired J.B. Bickerstaff and are looking for a new coach.

The Cavaliers have seemed like an island of mismatched pieces. Everyone is wondering if the team should break up the Jarrett Allen/Evan Mobley pairing down low and the Donovan Mitchell/Darius Garland backcourt pairing.

Mitchell is under extreme focus entering the last year of his deal. There have been rumors going on for several months that Mitchell is not going to sign an extension, further putting the Cavs in a bind. Everyone, of course, denies the tension, even if you can feel it in the building.

The Cavs are going to be desperate then to take the next step as a franchise. After two playoff runs, it seems clear that something does not work to elevate the team. And it feels like at least one major trade is in the offing.

Mitchell brings with him his own headaches, and it feels like Garland would be a better fit for the Magic and what they are looking for in the short term.

Garland averaged 18.0 points per game and shot 37.1 percent from three on 6.2 attempts per game. He averaged 6.5 assists per game. Darius Garland would be the kind of playmaker and shooter the Magic are looking for to set the table for Paolo Banchero. He made only 35.0 percent of his catch-and-shoot 3-pointers.

That would be the rub of going after Garland.

Garland seems to succeed more when he is on the ball and creating for himself and others. The struggle he has had playing alongside Mitchell has been seeing his touches go down—his field goal attempts cratered at 14.3 per game this year—and staying aggressive in an environment where he does not have the ball.

It is no coincidence he averaged 14.9 points per game playing alongside Mitchell in the series against the Orlando Magic and then averaged 16.8 points and 6.2 assists per game playing largely without Mitchell in the series with the Boston Celtics.

Context matters here. Garland struggled this year because he missed so much time with a broken jaw in December and January. That put him behind the 8-ball all year. So, a bounce-back season seems in order.

Constructing a trade—whether it is for Garland or for Mitchell—with the Cavs becomes tough. Fansided pitched a deal centered on Cole Anthony and Jonathan Isaac going to the Cavs with two first-round picks for Darius Garland and Dean Wade. That seemed excessive to us, but not too far off if the Magic are sold on Garland being their guy.

The Magic would probably have to add something more because Anthony and two firsts will not do it. And Joe Ingles is not enough to move the needle significantly. Especially considering the Magic would likely be taking on $20-plus million in salary to make it happen.

Bleacher Report proposed another deal swapping Jalen Suggs and a first-round pick for Darius Garland.

It all feels like that is not worth it, considering the questions about Garland fitting into another environment where the Magic want to spread the ball and have multiple playmakers.