The Orlando Magic chose to not make any trade deadline deals this year, but that doesn’t mean they were unaffected. Many of the days trades subtly shifted the landscape around the league in ways that will have true consequences for the Magic. Let’s take a look at what deals mattered most:
Andre Miller traded to the Washington Wizards
This deal had major ramifications across the league, especially for the Magic. The Wizards were originally thought to be in the market for Orlando’s own Jameer Nelson. This trade ended those discussions. In total, an amazing 9 point guards changed teams before the trade deadline, and not one of them was Nelson. (Steve Blake, Andre Miller, Aaron Brooks, Eric Maynor, Jordan Crawford, Roger Mason Jr., Gary Neal, Luke Ridnour, Ramon Sessions were the point guards on the move) Why?
It’s possible that the Magic value Nelson higher than the rest of the league. Magic fans would definitely tell you that Nelson was better than all those players, but talent evaluation is a subjective field, and Nelson doesn’t appear to have many admirers. Another reality is that Nelson’s contract was a limiting factor today. Nelson’s $8.6 million salary nearly doubles any of the traded players’. His deal was much harder to fit into any trade.
The Nuggets move sideways, the Knicks stand pat (Magic WoNK pick safe)
Denver was very active on the day, making two trades, but it’s unclear if either of those make them better. They unloaded Andre Miller, who wasn’t playing, for Jan Vesely. He’s a really intriguing athlete but a really bad basketball player. He might actually make them worse than having Miller sit at home.
They then found their backup point guard in Aaron Brooks from the Houston Rockets. To get him they had to give up Jordan Hamilton, a solid wing who is redundant when everyone is healthy, but the Nuggets are never healthy. Brooks is okay, but he was the third point guard in Houston, and unlikely to move the needle.
None of those trades are likely to push them into the playoffs in the crowded Western Conference. The Knicks on the other hand were actively trying to make deals, but last night’s injury to Iman Shumpert hamstrung them. A trade might have been unlikely anyway, but the Knicks are stuck riding with what they’ve got now, a shaky prospect. The Magic should be encouraged that the first-round pick they received from either of these teams is still very likely to end up in the lottery.
The Philadelphia 76ers go full tank (you never go full tank)
No team was more active today, and the amount of moving pieces is dizzying. The Sixers got rid of Spencer Hawes, Lavoy Allen, and Evan Turner in exchange for 4 second round picks, Eric Maynor, Byron Mullens, Earl Clark, Henry Sims, and Danny Granger (who will likely be bought out), and likely more to be named as details come out. They will not win again all year. The Orlando Magic will finish at the most with the 3rd worst record. The Los Angeles Lakers also got worse.
What do you think of these trade deadline deals? Are the land of magic better or worse off after today? Let us know in the comment section below. And if you want more magic, sign-up for our newsletter!