With the Orlando Magic officially being eliminated from playoff contention, it seems like a good time to take a look at their team. At this time, Orlando is 18-52, last place in the Eastern Conference behind only the Detroit Pistons. But they have some promising pieces.
Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Cole Anthony, are just a few of the solid young pieces the Magic have drafted in the past couple of years.
There are two routes the Magic can take from here: wait and see, or make some trades and speed up the process to making the playoffs.
What do the Magic have to offer?
The Orlando Magic need to make some decisions before they just go start trading players.
Do they want a young star? Do they want to focus on depth?
Donovan Mitchell. There has been speculation that Mitchell wants out, nothing official. But his relationship with Rudy Gobert has been less than perfect. However, Mitchell has not come out and said he wants a trade or doesn’t want to play with Gobert.
The Magic could make an interesting trade offer if the Jazz are entertaining them.
A package surrounding Cole Anthony, Franz Wagner, Terrance Ross, and RJ Hampton could be enticing to the Jazz. If the Magic throw in two or three first-round draft picks, they may have a deal.
That would leave the Magic with Mitchell, Jalen Suggs, Mo Bamba, Jonathan Isaac, and Wendell Carter Jr. That could potentially be a starting lineup. This one move doesn’t make them championship contenders, but it gets them a star, and a potential all-star in Suggs to build around.
Julius Randle. Randle and the Knicks has a great honeymoon, but this season has not been great. The Knicks are currently 12th in the East, and Randle’s numbers are down from last year. He is still 27, but the Knicks can’t be happy with his regression.
The Magic don’t need a “superstar”, they’re the Orlando Magic, they just need to remain in the middle of the pack. They can try and figure it out with Randle and Suggs.
The Magic could offer a deal that looks something like; Jonathan Isaac, Cole Anthony, and Franz Wagner, along with a couple of draft picks and maybe some more “filler” if the Knicks want it. For Julius Randle, Immanuel Quickley, and Quentin Grimes.
This deal benefits both sides. The Magic get a veteran forward, and a young guard to pair with Jalen Suggs. And the Knicks can look to build around RJ Barrett, Cole Anthony, Mitchell Robinson, and Franz Wagner. They would have a young core of players who, in a year or two could be a competitive team.
Play the Waiting Game
The Magic have accumulated good young players through the draft the past few years. Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Mo Bamba, Cole Anthony.
The waiting game can be painful, and there is not always a chance it works out. But when you hit on picks it makes things a lot easier. The Magic will have a top pick this year as well.
Jonathan Isaac is also going to be back next season, Markelle Fultz just came back. The Magic have some sense of direction. They traded for Bol Bol, who won’t play until next season. They took a gamble on him.
If they stand pat this offseason, the Magic could be looking at a play-in-game. That would definitely be an improvement from this year.