NBA rumors have suggested that the Orlando Magic is willing to trade a number of their players — including starters Serge Ibaka and Nikola Vucevic — for a chance to make the playoffs this season, according to multiple media outlets.
The source of the NBA rumors is none other than Orlando Magic GM Rob Hennigan. The Orlando Sentinel interviewed Rob Hennigan this week, asking about the potential for the team to be active before the NBA trade deadline in February. The Orlando Magic GM candidly spoke about how his team has under-performed this season could seek outside assistance to make a playoff push.
“We have to go into the trade deadline looking to improve the team by any means necessary. So we’re not in a position with our team right now to not explore and listen to any ideas or concepts that come our way or that we inquire about. So the goal’s to improve the team any way we can… We’re going to be active in our discussions and in the opportunities we seek out. So we’re going to look to be active.”
— Orlando Magic Daily (@OMagicDaily) January 10, 2017
Defensive stalwarts Serge Ibaka and Nikola Vucevic were targeted by the newspaper’s interviewer. Rob Hennigan — who said the Orlando Magic were constructed to be a tough defensive-minded team — voiced his displeasure with how the team as a whole has played on the defensive end.
“I would just say we’re extremely disappointed and frustrated with our overall defensive performance to date. So we need to correct that. We need to rectify it both with what we can do internally and ways we can try to improve it externally.”
According to ESPN, multiple players have been the subject of NBA trade rumors this season. In addition to starters Serge Ibaka and Nikola Vucevic, four reserve players for Orlando have also been mentioned as potential trade assets the article reported.
“According to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, league sources told him the Magic have interest in Miami Heat starting point guard Goran Dragic and offered a future first-round pick and center Nikola Vucevic. Other players Hennigan may shop to NBA teams include DJ Augustin, Jeff Green, Mario Hezonja, Jodie Meeks and Serge Ibaka.”
Serge Ibaka is experiencing a renaissance campaign this season with the Orlando Magic, his first in with Eastern Conference team. Serge Ibaka is averaging a career-best 15.2 points per game while also adding 7.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per outing.
Nikola Vucevic is also enjoying a banner season for the Orlando Magic, a team currently sitting 5.5 games outside of the final spot for the Eastern Conference playoffs. Nikola Vucevic is averaging nearly a double-double this season as he contributes 13.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per outing.
Nikola Vucevic had been the subject of recent NBA trade rumors. In addition to the Orlando Magic purportedly offering Nikola Vucevic up to the Miami Heat to acquire Goran Dragic, the Inquisitr previously reported that the 7-0 center could be traded to the Sacramento Kings for wing Rudy Gay. That trade looks unlikely now that Rudy Gay sustained a season-ending injury last week.
While Nikola Vucevic is under contract until 2019, Serge Ibaka could become a one-year rental for the Orlando Magic. Serge Ibaka was acquired during the offseason in a blockbuster deal that sent former Magic players Victor Oladipo and Ersan Ilyasova and the rights to Domantas Sabonis — the No. 11 pick in the 2016 draft — to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Unlike Nikola Vucevic, the Orlando Magic could lose Serge Ibaka to free agency during the offseason with nothing to show for the mega trade.
Do you believe the NBA rumors that Serge Ibaka or Nikola Vucevic could be leaving the Orlando Magic before the NBA trade deadline? Continue to follow the Inquisitr for more information on this developing story.
[Featured Images by Manuela Davies/Getty Images]