February 20, 2014. The trade deadline is finally upon us, and the Orlando Magic are as big a mystery as ever. This is your guideline for the day, what to expect, and what to ignore. The Orlando Magic trade rumors have been running rampant but now we finally get to answer the question you’ve all been waiting for: what will the Magic actually do. Let’s set the stage:
Technically, the Orlando Magic are open for business. Only Victor Oladipo is believed to be untouchable. Still, it is unlikely the Magic would part with any of their young prospects without a superstar on the market. Therefore the action will revolve around the three veterans – Arron Afflalo, Jameer Nelson, and Glen Davis.
Afflalo is by far the most valuable player on the Magic, but conventional wisdom is split on whether they should trade him or keep him. If they trade him it will be a tacit admitting that they don’t expect to contend next year, which would be a tough pill to swallow for even the most patient Orlando fans. But he’s a piece, not a star, and the Magic need stars.
Rumors say that Magic either want a “proven” player who can help them win next year, or two first round draft picks. The Magic have said that Afflalo isn’t on the market but that could just be a “smokescreen.” Really the Magic may be better off waiting until the NBA draft when Afflalo’s value will be higher because of additional bidders. The Charlotte Bobcats, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs all could be interested now, but that number could double in the off-season.
Likelihood of a deal: 15% (That number increases to 40% by the NBA draft)
The Magic lifer wants to stay in Orlando but do the Magic love him back? With an expensive, but only partially guaranteed contract for next season, Nelson could be on the move now or later. He isn’t a starting-caliber point guard anymore, but his strength and shooting make him the perfect first guard off the bench for a contending team. Almost any playoff team could use him, the problem is simply making the contract fit. The Minnesota Timberwolves have expressed interest, contingent on their dumping JJ Barea.
Likelihood of a deal: 25% (There is value to keeping a link to the past, but Nelson deserves to win)
Davis is the only player on the roster who wasn’t signed by current GM Rob Hennigan. If that isn’t cause for caution, his poor play should be. The Magic want to unload him but no one wants a piece. Even playing him starters minutes at the detriment of the young players and the offense hasn’t increased his trade value. He won’t get moved unless he is packaged with someone else.
Likelihood of a deal: .0000000001% (If we hate him so much why would anyone else want him)
What do you think? Will there be an Orlando Magic trade tomorrow? Let us know in the comments section below. Want more? Sign up for our newsletter!