Ranking every Orlando Magic player by trade likelihood

Orlando has shown they belong in playoff contention as 2024 begins. But they could use a mid-season trade to address their needs. Here is a ranked list of players who are most likely on the trading black before the trade deadline.

Gary Harris' contract expires at the end of the season and the veteran could be the Orlando Magic's biggest trade chip at the deadline.
Gary Harris' contract expires at the end of the season and the veteran could be the Orlando Magic's biggest trade chip at the deadline. / Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
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Ranking every Orlando Magic player by trade likelihood

2. Goga Bitadze

Goga Bitadze has been a revelation for the Orlando Magic this season. No one expected him to fill the void Wendell Carter left at such a high level. He has cemented himself as a rotation player for Orlando and a player that needs to play even when Wendell is at full strength.

That will inevitably cause a logjam at center with Wendell Carter, Goga Bitadze, Moe Wagner and Jonathan Isaac all capable of playing the position. Bitadze is the only player in that group who is a free agent this summer. Orlando has the most projected cap space this offseason which bodes in Bitadze's favor.

The team could focus on securing other positions and maintaining cap flexibility this offseason as Bitadze will see a pay increase this summer. The way he has played it could be a contract that the Magic are not comfortable paying for their backup center.

Orlando could turn to trade him at the deadline to retain some value for the Georgian big man instead of letting him walk in free agency. Carter will hopefully be back to normal playing conditions by the time February rolls around.

The Magic would have to make a decision to split time at the center position between three players or trade Bitadze to center-needy teams .

1. Gary Harris

It was difficult to determine who would be the most likely traded player this season. The Orlando Magic have a large portion of their team in place and would prefer to develop their young talent rather to trade for a veteran player. The Magic are looking for longevity in their current roster construction rather than trading for aging veterans.

Markelle Fultz, Jonathan Isaac and Chuma Okeke all were in contention but have such little trade value based on their inability to play. Gary Harris has struggled this season but still retains value as a shooter who is an above-average on-ball defender.

Harris has shot 28.8 percent from distance in his last 20 games. He currently is shooting 33.3 percent on the season from three which is the third-worst in his career. The other two seasons were his rookie year and when he was only able to play 19 games.

The shooting slump is real, perhaps the product of the calf strain that has him in and out of the lineup constantly.

Harris will recover from this slump but Orlando might not wait until that happens.

He is 29 years old and is on an expiring contract. Potential contending teams would be interested in acquiring a player with his skillset to bolster bench units. And his removal from the rotation could help Jett Howard get some on-court experience to end the season.

Harris is one of the better shooters on the Magic so the idea of trading him seems ludicrous, but hopefully the Magic would receive other shooters who fit their timeline better.

The Magic could try to use some of their upcoming draft picks to pair with Harris for a younger player who is on a longer contract, or the team will look to maintain flexibility with significant cap space.

Mailbag 01.05.24. Orlando Magic Daily Mailbag: Looking to the future. dark. Next

Regardless of what path the team chooses at the deadline, there is an opportunity to upgrade the roster to push for the playoffs this season.