The Orlando Magic are the second-worst 3-point shooting team in the league (thanks to a 9-for-25 performance in Friday's win over the Minnesota Timberwolves). And many of their games come down to their inability to hit even the open shots they worked to get.
Shooting is not merely a luxury for this team. It is a necessity.
With the Magic establishing themselves as a clear top-10 defense, the team must start layering on offense to become competitive.
On top of this, there are plenty of other areas the team can look to improve. They need to reduce their turnovers, something that will come with experience. They need to stay organized and keep the ball moving, which is inconsistent with so many unnatural point guards handling the ball and initiating offense.
They need reliable and volume 3-point shooters. We should probably mention that shooting need again.
But the question the Magic have to ask in addition to these needs is: What is the team willing to give up?
As everyone goes shopping during the trade deadline season, putting players on the wish list and thinking about improving the team, there often is not as much thought about what the team might be giving up. Or just how difficult it is to find the perfect ideal for what the team needs.
There are not a ton of ace 3-point shooters who are also elite defenders. And as the Magic hunt for more shooting, they want to minimize their cost and maximize their gains. That is always the goal.
Obsession with one skill to the exclusion of others, though, can lead to unintended consequences.
The Magic need to find all these needs, but how much defense or other skills are they willing to sacrifice? For the trade deadline -- as this is a question that lingers anytime the team adds a new player -- how much is the team willing to upset the apple cart in the short term for that skill? Can they cover for that new player's weaknesses? Can they adjust on the fly?
These are the central questions as the trade deadline approaches.