As the Orlando Magic decided to go on another direction toward the end of last year, their 2021-22 campaign was another disappointing showing for the rebuilding squad. There were some notable names that showcased their wares, like Cole Anthony and Wendell Carter Jr.but the major problem for a young team is the consistency of playing excellently every night.
Coach Jamahl Mosley is in his first stint as a head coach which would be a huge learning experience for him in developing his current roster. Injuries to Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac may have also hindered the progression of Orlando, but they must remain optimistic and look toward the draft and free agency in the offseason. With the plethora of plausible moves that could be executed by July, there are a few names the front office must seriously consider in bolstering the lineup of the Magic.
3 early trade targets for Magic in 2022 NBA offseason
For Orlando who has numerous guards like Anthony, Fultz, Jalen Suggs, and Terrence Ross, it is the scoring consistency that has been lacking from this bunch. Anthony is the only consistent scoring machine who could rack up over 20 points on any given night, but that cannot just be the case for a struggling Magic team. Thus, acquiring a superstar talent like Bradley Beal would be an enormous boost to lead the offense.
The circulating rumors of Beal possibly leaving the Washington Wizards has been circulating for many years already, so the Orlando front office must inquire and negotiate a possible deal for Beal. The Magic do have Ross and Gary Harris as veterans, but what Beal will impart and possess as a leader to Orlando will be vital to the quicker ascension back to the playoffs for their franchise.
After having a spectacular season with the Atlanta Hawks last year, Clint Capela was rewarded with a massive extension by the franchise. However, this season took a drastic turn because of his subpar production and impact on both ends, especially defensively. To add insult to injury, Capela even sustained unfortunate injuries throughout their campaign, which gave Onyeka Okongwu the opening to receive more minutes.
Okongwu could be even inserted as early as next season to the starting lineup because of his admirable chemistry with Trae Young. Thus, Capela could even be traded as early as the offseason when he is eligible already because the Hawks will have trouble utilizing Okogwu for a ton of minutes if Capela is in the lineup. Capela’s contract is locked in for three more seasons after this current one, and he would be a perfect complement with Carter Jr. in the Magic frontcourt.
Even before the trade deadline in February, the demand for Jerami Grant was on a high level because of his three-and-D prowess as an athletic and versatile wing. He could basically fit in any system proven with both his stints with the Denver Nuggets and Detroit Pistons, respectively. Isaac was supposedly built as the star forward of Orlando, but injuries have derailed his career, thus acquiring a similar prototype like Grant would be fantastic.
Grant would also provide that calming and veteran expertise in Orlando, especially to starting small forward Franz Wagner. He could be a third or fourth option on offense with Anthony, Wagner, and Carter Jr., but it will be on the defensive side of the ball wherein Grant’s impact will be heavily felt. The Pistons were hesitant to trade him this year, but he will be on an expiring contract entering 2022-23, so Detroit could be willing to part with him for other assets.
As there are still several holes in the roster of Orlando along with the lack of attractiveness in the free agency market, the front office must search for unheralded or underrated individuals who would fit tremendously into the philosophies and culture of Mosley. It must be small steps for the Magic, but the trajectory must be gradual for them to reach the playoffs in the next three or four seasons.