2 hyperbolic trades the Magic need to make right now
The Orlando Magic have not won a playoff series since the 2009-10 season. On top of that, they haven’t had a season with a record over .500 since the 2011-12 campaign. Even worse than that, it seems like the rebuilding process they have been through does not make any particular sense, with players who were supposed to be cornerstones of the franchise either leaving or being traded away.
The front office also does not really seem like they have an idea of what they want to do since some moves suggest a fight for the postseason, while others suggest a long-term plan of building around young guys. However, here are two possible trades that would fit both of the ideas their front office had in the past, with one being for the future and one being for a postseason battle.
Ben Simmons to Magic; Gary Harris, Cole Anthony, picks to 76ers
While the Philadelphia 76ers have their ideas about the worth of their disgruntled star Ben Simmons, it is a different discussion about what is realistic. It is clear that this Magic offer would be what an unhappy star, who has made it clear that he will not play for the team, would get you. In terms of the picks, it would most likely be at least two first-round selections to sweeten the deal and the Magic has all their selections plus a conditional pick in 2023 from the Bulls, which is top-four protected.
In terms of the players, it is clear why the Magic would make this deal. In the Eastern Conference, Ben Simmons can bring you to the postseason. If utilized well, Simmons can be a superstar player and it would be up to new coach Jamahl Mosley to fit him into the roster. The Magic have some good pieces, most notably rookie Jalen Suggs and the front court of Wendell Carter Jr. and Jonathan Isaac if he can recover from his injury.
Adding Simmons to this mix would make the young Magic run even more and Simmons could provide some plenty of fast break scoring since he would be the first option and he has a track record of being very efficient, mostly due to the fact that he does not shoot. Isaac and Carter Jr. to a limited degree can even spread the floor, so Simmons would have even more space to drive and score.
On the other hand, Philadelphia makes this deal due to the quality of picks, but also due to the potential behind Cole Anthony. Harris has only one year left on his deal and he could provide some scoring off the bench for the Sixers, but Anthony and his potential would be the prize.
In his first season, he averaged 12.9 points per game for the Magic and had some great games, such as the 37 points he scored against the 76ers. He has potential and with the point-guard position being not very deep in Philly, he would have chances to show his worth.
Marvin Bagley III to Magic; Mo Bamba to Kings
This trade is more for the future, as the Magic would move on from one seemingly failed front court project to another one that did not go as successfully for the other team involved in the trade. Bagley and Bamba are both players with clear upsides, but both have not had the development their teams were hoping for.
Marvin Bagley has been stagnating since his rookie season, but that does not mean he does not have a ton of potential. He is a 6-foot-11 forward that averages around 14.5 points per game in his career, with great efficiency and expanding shooting range. The Magic were able to create some elite big-men in the past, such as Nikola Vucevic and Dwight Howard, so that might be something that truly benefits the former Duke player. Also, it is the last year of his contract, so if the Kings do not want to resign him, but want at least something of value for him, this would be a good trade.
On the other hand, Bamba has had issues ever since entering the league with the Magic.
He is very tall, has incredibly long arms and the defensive potential is all there, but there were and still are question marks about his motor. The effort he is showing is not sufficient and sometimes it looks like he doesn’t have a care in the world on the court. However, in Sacramento, he could connect to a young, up-and-coming coach in Luke Walton. Walton can definitely relate better to Bamba than some of the old-school coaching he has seen with Steve Clifford and Bamba might benefit a lot from that relationship.
While this trade does not seem like the most bombastic deal, it could be the change of fortune for two players who have a ton of upside, but need new environments to show their skills.