These have been some tough days for the Orlando Magic. As one of the most active NBA teams during the last off-season, few expected the Magic to be struggling putting the ball in the hoop. Going into today the Orlando Magic are 10-13. Not too shabby for a team that underwent several personnel changes, but scoring has been a problem. The scoring woes have the Magic strongly considering trading at least one of their players for a scorer.
Scoring is back on the rise in the NBA. Looking at each team, there is only six clubs averaging less than 100 points a game. Where the Orlando Magic ranks with their 94.3 points per game average is second to last in scoring.
Ironically, it is the opposite case on the defensive end. The Magic are one of only seven teams that hold their opponents to below the century mark. The Magic do not allow themselves much wiggle room, as their point differential is minus-4.5 points. Sacrificing some defense in an effort to add scoring is something Orlando reportedly wants to do.
ESPN is reporting that the Magic could look for some scoring help as soon as December 15. That is the day that NBA teams can trade the free agents who changed teams during the off-season.
What that means is Bismack Biyombo, D.J. Augustin, and Jeff Green could be used as trade bait. Also, Serge Ibaka is another player the Magic can deal. And then there is Magic center Nikola Vucevic. ESPN’s Nick Silva weighed in on the likelihood that Vucevic could be the odd man out in Orlando.
“There has been some speculation over the past 12 months that Magic center Nikola Vucevic might be made available, and the rumors could surface again since head coach Frank Vogel recently benched Vucevic and moved Biyombo into the starting lineup.”
Magic head coach Frank Vogel employs defensive-minded attack, with athletic wing players and a rotation of rim protectors. The one piece which is missing would be the elite scorer capable to take on the offensive burden. The majority of the players the Magic acquired in the off-season were good defensive interior players. Nikola Vucevic does not truly fit that mold. Add the fact that he has a friendly contract by NBA standards, he is an obvious candidate for a trade.
Three years and $36.7 million is what the Magic owes Nikola Vucevic. That could conceivably bring the team back the type pf player they need to help carry the load. There are a few teams that would make sense completing a swap with the Magic.
The most logical trade partner would be the Milwaukee Bucks for the injured Khris Middleton.
Nothing can take place now as Middleton is on the mend, but his scoring ability would be a viable asset on the Orlando Magic. Getting Vucevic from the Magic would give the Bucks a quality starter and a low-post presence to group with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker.
Another NBA team to consider as a possible trade partner with Orlando is the Phoenix Suns. One deal that would work between the Magic and Suns is a Brandon Knight for Bismack Biyombo swap.
Brandon Knight has been rumored to be on the trade block (courtesy of CBS Sports) for awhile now. He is not the ideal scorer that the Orlando Magic covets, but he can score. His ability to penetrate to the basket and make shots for others could get the Magic offense going.
The Suns want a veteran shot-blocker. There are few better than Bismack Biyombo.
One final trade that would make sense is for the Magic to send Elfrid Payton and Jeff Green to the Sacramento Kings for Rudy Gay and Ben McLemore. The Kings could accept this deal with Payton taking over the lead guard duties, while Green would serve as the perfect replacement for Rudy Gay.
For the Orlando Magic, Rudy Gay is not a top-level scorer, but he represents what the team needs. Gay can get to the paint, shoot from distance, and he lacks the fear of taking the last shot. Financially, Gay is also a match because his contract has a player option for next season. McLemore possesses the athletic wing ability that would help the Magic.
In the case of the Orlando Magic, keep an eye on December 15. They might be the team ready to make a deal or two. Not to subtract, but to add, in an effort to compete for a playoff spot. Is Nikola Vucevic the player to go, or will the Orlando Magic look to deal someone else.
[Featured Image by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images]