On Monday, the Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls came to an agreement on a trade that would send Anthony Randolph to the Magic along with two second round picks, with the Magic sending Milovan Rakovic. The Magic are planning to waive Randolph and eat his salary of just over $1.8 million. So the question arises: why would the Magic do this and help another Eastern Conference team?
Simple: they acquired more assets in doing so, while not giving anything up.
Yes, the Magic sent a player to the Bulls, but it was clear Rakovic was never going to come over and play for the team. Rakovic was originally acquired on draft night in 2007 after the Magic and Dallas Mavericks swapped the rights to second rounders, with the Magic sending former University of North Carolina wing Reyshawn Terry to the Mavericks.
The move was a straight salary dump for the Bulls, who have been known to want to pinch pennies before, and seem reluctant to use their amnesty provision on forward Carlos Boozer, even with the signing’s of Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic incoming. This move allows Chicago to cut just over $1.8 million, which could prove vital for a team that has multiple holes to fill.
For the Magic, acquiring even more assets just makes sense. They’re in a situation to continually compile assets, and while second round picks may not jump off the page, they can be very important trade chips. Second round picks come with non-guaranteed contracts, unlike first rounders which are all guaranteed for at least the first two seasons. Orlando has also had some success in the second round over the past couple of seasons, finding a hidden gem in Kyle O’Quinn, and this years second round pick Devyn Marble, who has a very good shot of making the roster out of training camp.
It also makes sense for the Magic as they will inch closer to the salary cap floor — which is roughly 92 percent of the salary cap. While there’s no official penalty for not hitting the cap floor, it could potentially look bad to free agents who could be looking in the team’s direction. Always better to be safe, rather than sorry.
So, to recap: The Magic acquire more assets, and inch ever so much closer to the salary cap floor. Chicago on the other hand opens up more cap space to make the moves this offseason to potentially take the next step in the Eastern Conference. Sounds like a win for both sides.