5 questions for the third quarter of the Orlando Magic's 2024 season

The Orlando Magic reached the midpoint of their season in control of their postseason destiny and showing glimpses of their future. But there are still plenty of questions to answer about this team.

Paolo Banchero established his potential to be a star this year. The Orlando Magic, though, will have to start answering questions to make the most of his talent and this team's potential.
Paolo Banchero established his potential to be a star this year. The Orlando Magic, though, will have to start answering questions to make the most of his talent and this team's potential. / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
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5 questions for the third quarter of the Orlando Magic's 2024 season

What will the Orlando Magic do at the trade deadline?

This question is first because it will have the most trickle-down effect for this year and beyond. What the Orlando Magic do at the trade deadline could inform just about anything for the rest of the season.

In the weeks leading up to the Feb. 8 deadline, you will see many names floated out in the rumor mill. But these deadlines are usually less climatic than the rumors that proceed them, especially for the Magic.

I am not underselling the big moves around the league that have taken place in the last couple of years -- or even with Pascal Siakam moving to the Indiana Pacers and OG Anunoby heading to the New York Knicks already this season. But the deadline is more about playoff teams adding rotation players than overall roster building.

For the Magic specifically, names like Zach Lavine, Dejounte Murray and Anfernee Simons have been attached to them or bandied around by fans. However, the likelihood that any of those deals will happen is pretty low.

The Magic are in no rush to attach multiple first-round picks to valuable players to trade for B-level stars who do not elevate their ceiling.

More likely moves would be trading for role players or specialty players like Sacramento Kings guard Kevin Huerter or New York Knicks wing Quentin Grimes to improve the team's shooting options, swapping assets to get a playmaking guard like Washington Wizards guard Tyus Jones, or even being the team that finally makes a move for Indiana Pacers sharpshooter Buddy Hield.

The move the Magic make at the deadline seems more likely to be a small one. The front office does not see this year as the end-all, be-all. A play-in appearance and a first-round playoff series are reasonable steps for this young team.

There is some value in adding another veteran presence to complement the steadiness that Joe Ingles has been providing. And, as you will read later, a playmaking point guard would go a long way in helping this team.

The likelihood that the Magic brass make this their "all-in" move at this deadline is pretty much slim to none.