Orlando Magic Daily Mailbag: Trade winds blowing?
Have you heard anything about trading for an All-Star like Zach LaVine?
Everyone is anticipating that there will be at least a little moving and shaking heading into the trade deadline even if this is going to be a fairly tame trade deadline. The Chicago Bulls are one of the teams that could be looking to do a reset. At 15-21, the Bulls are once again fighting for Play-In scraps. That is a team that seems set to break apart.
While I think there is a lot of Magic interest in Zach LaVine's general scoring ability and it would certainly help the Magic as a team in desperate need of scoring, I do not think the Magic have much interest in LaVine. And that might be the case for the rest of the league.
LaVine can score. There is no doubt about that -- he is averaging 21.0 points per game this season. But LaVine has not affected winning at this point in his career. And he has three years remaining on his contract at $40-plus million in each season.
That is just not attractive for most teams for a player whose impact on winning is so unproven and inconsistent at best. It seems like teams are more interested in DeMar DeRozan or Alex Caruso in a potential Bulls rebuild rather than LaVine.
For sure, the Magic want the ball in Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner's hands as much as possible. They are the lead playmakers for the team. And so I find it very hard to believe they will target another high-usage player like LaVine if they enter the trade market.
If the Magic do anything, expect it to be something small.
What should the Orlando Magic's trade deadline strategy be?
So then what should the Orlando Magic's trade strategy be? That is a fair question.
First off, I do not think the Magic are going to do anything crazy at the deadline. They are still thinking about their long-term needs and building a team for two or three years from now. They are not interested in building a team to maximize their playoff seeding for this year.
As much as the Magic need shooting, my sense remains they want to give this group as constructed its chance to show what it can do and how far it can go.
Still, the Magic have to start thinking about needs and filling in for its future -- both short-term and long-term.
I suspect the Magic will begin looking to fill this shooting need this season. But they are not looking for a quick fix. They are not going to expend future assets for a player they are not confident is part of the next 2-3 seasons.
Orlando wants to layer on the next group of players on top of what they are already doing and what they have already built. And so I suspect the Magic will be hunting around, but know they will have a lot of buying power and potential to add to the team this offseason.
I do expect a quiet trade deadline for the Magic despite seeming interest in a lot of players who could be available.