Proposed mock trade sends coveted two-way player to Orlando Magic 

Bleacher Report came up with another mock trade to address the Magic’s offensive struggles.
Orlando Magic v Charlotte Hornets
Orlando Magic v Charlotte Hornets / David Jensen/GettyImages

Since the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Josh Giddey to Chicago for Alex Caruso and Malik Monk and Pascal Siakam re-signed with their respective teams, things have been pretty quiet in the NBA. Many are waiting to see what will happen with Paul George, believing he will be the first domino to fall. 

It shouldn't be much longer, though, until moves are made and rosters begin to take shape for next season. The Magic are still expected to be an active player, especially in free agency, even though the latest reports have suggested the team's desire for short-term deals. 

Orlando could also be active on the trade market, however, and has thus been mentioned in several mock trades already. Most of them had the team going after offensive-minded guards such as Dejounte Murray, Anfernee Simons, and Darius Garland. 

This latest mock trade by Bleacher Report's Zach Buckley went a different route. 

Magic land sought-after two-way player in Bleacher Report mock trade

Teams have been trying to get Mikal Bridges ever since the Phoenix Suns traded him to Brooklyn in the Kevin Durant trade. The Nets have been stubborn, however. They reportedly want Bridges to be a part of their future and have declined some lucrative offers. 

Unless the Nets can swing a big trade and get a star that way, it seems unlikely that they will improve any time soon with the current roster. They have some good players, but not nearly enough to compete. Trading Bridges would be the easiest way to get meaningful assets for a rebuild. 

Buckley suggested that Orlando could go after Bridges with an offer that could help the Nets launch their rebuild: 

Magic receive: Mikal Bridges

Nets receive: Anthony Black, the no. 18 pick, 2028 first-round pick, 2030 first-round pick. 

That is quite the haul for Bridges, but is it enough to get the Nets' attention? 

Anthony Black is an interesting young player and a recent lottery pick. Young talent is valuable for a team that might just have to hit the reset button or risk being stuck at the bottom of the league for years. At the same time, however, Black has not had a chance to play many meaningful minutes yet and is still a developmental project. If they traded Bridges, the Nets would have time to develop someone like Black. It really just depends on what they think his potential is and if they think it's time to give up on their hopes of retooling rather than rebuilding the roster. 

The three first-round picks should definitely catch Brooklyn's attention, though.

For the Magic, it would be painful to move Anthony Black so early in his career. After all, they drafted him for a reason. At the same time, however, he is one of their most enticing trade chips if they are looking into getting an impactful player from a rebuilding team. 

Bridges could have a real impact on the Magic. He spent most of his career with the Phoenix Suns and garnered a reputation as one of the better 3-and-D players in the league. At the 2022 trade deadline, he landed in Brooklyn and got a chance to expand his offensive game. Bridges showed that he could provide much more than what he got the opportunity to do in Phoenix but also seemed overtaxed as a number one option. 

The 27-year-old is an impactful player but needs to play alongside one or two stars. Orlando already has Paolo Banchero and needs to surround him with the right players. 

Bridges checks a lot of the boxes. He is a solid (though not great) volume shooter, averaging 37.5 percent from three for his career, has shown the ability to create his own shot with the Nets, and fits Orlando's defensive identity. Bridges spent most of his time last season playing the small forward spot, but he can also play the shooting guard position. Just imagine a defensive backcourt of Jalen Suggs and Mikal Bridges. 

That is exactly what Buckley noted as the Magic's main reasons for pursuing Bridges in this mock draft. 

"Bridges could team with Wagner to fill costarring roles with Banchero, addressing Orlando's need for shooting and support scoring while somehow making this group even longer and harder to deal with defensively," he writes. 

Bridges is a two-way player who fits the Magic's type but not the table-setter Paolo Banchero wished for. Recently rumors have emerged, however, that the Magic are looking for shooting guards, who can score, rather than a traditional point guard. Bridges would fit that mold while not jeopardizing the Magic's defensive production, like many other available guards. 

Mikal Bridges could potentially turn the Magic into a real threat. Whether they are willing to make such an aggressive offer is another question—they have not shown any indication that they are ready to make a big trade so far. So is whether the Nets are ready to let go of Bridges yet.