Orlando Magic can pick their development speed at the trade deadline
Scenario #2: Believe in Banchero and Wagner
If the Orlando Magic do not feel they can contend this season or maybe even next or just want to stick with the path they are on, then they need to go all in on Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner and ensure they are building around them and their strengths.
They are already competing at a high level, so they would only be a couple of pieces away from a championship. They just have to invest and augment their development.
This is the most likely path. Orlando is likely looking to boost the lineup they already have centeredon Banchero and Wagner. That still leaves them with work to do.
First, they would need a third option. Wagner and Banchero are both capable of scoring 20-plus points per game, but the Magic's third option varies from night to night.
Of the other three starters, Wendell Carter is not a shot-creator. Jalen Suggs and Markelle Fultz are more fit to be defenders and playmakers. And Cole Anthony has found success as a sixth man. The team's offense is still lagging overall even though the team has been able to cover it with a near-elite defense.
This means the Magic need another scoring option in their starting lineup to be able to contend.
Aside from that they just need another wing before their roster is complete. Joe Ingles, Jonathan Isaac and Chuma Okeke are their bench wings. Ingles and Isaac have been playing great, but Ingles is getting older and they are both injury-prone.
Okeke has also found himself out of rotation and likely will not be retained in the offseason. One more backup wing would complete their roster.
This means that they would need to make one to two trades over the next season or two to have the perfect roster around their two all-star caliber players.
Doing one of those trades at the deadline would make sense so they can start gelling and building chemistry as early as possible and even into their first postseason together.
Some options for a third option are Malcolm Brogdon, Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson. All three can either start or come off the bench and offer a variety of skills the team is sorely missing.
Brogdon won Sixth Man of the Year in 2023. Even after getting injured, he has shown he is still an elite scorer for the Portland Trail Blazers. If he decides he wants to play for a contender then he could be the third option for the Magic.
As is Bojan Bogdanovic.
The Detroit Pistons, who are on a historic losing streak, are going to have to make changes and they will most likely move off of Bogdanovic and other veteran players. Bogdanovic is a capable shooter and scorer who might be better suited in a reserve role as an elite sixth man on a contending team.
Clarkson is another elite scorer that has been in plenty of trade rumors as well as the Utah Jazz continue their rebuild. He is the heir apparent to Jamal Crawford for elite bench scorers.
These are all elite scoring options who can create for themselves and make their teammates better. Any of these players would give the Magic a third option to put pressure on defenses and take pressure off of Banchero and Wagner.
If Banchero and Wagner are going to be a top duo then they are going to need a third option that they can trust and this deadline might be their best opportunity to find one.