Grade the trade: Magic land potential missing piece in proposed mock trade

Orlando Magic v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Five
Orlando Magic v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Five / Jason Miller/GettyImages

For most NBA teams, it is already time to start thinking about the future and possible moves this summer. Possible draft selections, best free agency fits, and potential trades are being discussed everywhere. There is no escaping it, especially as a Magic fan. 

Since the Magic made the playoffs and battled the Cavaliers in a tough seven-game series, they have been viewed as one of the best up-and-coming young teams in the league. They have a great young core and a bright future, which makes this offseason so incredibly exciting for Magic fans. The front office has the chance to build something special in Orlando. 

There are several ways to go about that, ranging from targeting impactful role players in free agency to hunting a big name to making a significant trade. The Magic have previously been linked to the Hawks, who might be looking to move one of their guards, and now the same is happening with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Mock trade has Magic land Darius Garland in proposed deal with the Cavaliers

After another rather disappointing playoff run, rumor has it that one of the Cavaliers’ starting guards will be looking for a new NBA home soon. If Donovan Mitchell doesn’t re-sign the Cavaliers can either trade him or risk losing him for nothing. If he does re-sign, Darius Garland will likely want out

Adding Garland to the trio of Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, and Jalen Suggs could be a real game-changer for the Magic, as he could help transform the team’s offense. Knowing that FanSided staff writer Christopher Kline came up with the following mock trade to send Garland to Orlando: 

Magic receive: Darius Garland, Dean Wade

Cavaliers receive: Cole Anthony, Jonathan Isaac, 2026 first-round pick, 2028 first-round pick 

Grade the trade

Getting Darius Garland would solve a lot of the Magic’s problems. All season long but especially in the playoffs, the team struggled to get the offense going. The lack of a real point guard and three-point threats hurt them immensely. 

Garland is at his best as a true point guard, averaging 6.7 assists over his five seasons in the league. He is a great passer, can organize an offense, run pick-and-rolls, and get his own shot as well. On top of that, he is a solid three-point shooter, shooting over 38 percent from long-range for his career. 

Offensively, Garland brings everything the Magic need and Orlando should be more than able to make up for any defensive shortcomings on his part. The guard is still under contract through the 2027-28 season and fits the team’s timeline well. So, investing in Garland now could mean investing in years of winning basketball in Orlando. 

Also landing Dean Wade in the deal is a nice addition. Wade has struggled with injuries throughout his career and never played close to a full season. He has a reputation as a stretch-four, however, and the Magic should be excited about anyone who can shoot the three decently. 

The assets the Magic would have to give up in this deal are not crazy at all either. Jonathan Isaac is obviously someone you would prefer to keep around because of his defensive potential, but the reality is that Garland would easily have the bigger overall impact on the team’s success. At this point, you just cannot bank on Isaac to eventually be healthy anymore. 

Cole Anthony has been solid as a sixth man for Orlando these past two seasons, but he is certainly not irreplaceable. Anthony Black could probably step right into the role if needed. 

The two first-round picks going to Cleveland in this mock trade shouldn’t be a concern for the Magic either. If everything goes well, they will be a good team for years to come and won’t be reliant on first-round picks. Plus, the Magic own plenty of other future picks. 

The one concern might be that Garland is on a pretty big contract. That combined with extensions for Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, and eventually Paolo Banchero would become incredibly expensive very soon. If you are paying a young group that much money, you better be sure that they can win. 

Thinking about Garland on the Magic is certainly tempting. This team has so much potential already, and he could be the missing piece. Ultimately, we do not know yet if he will even be leaving Cleveland, though, or if the Cavaliers would want to move him to another possible contender in the East. 

Grade: B+