Boston Celtics trade rumors have mentioned the Orlando Magic as a potential partner in a deal before the NBA trade deadline hits on February 23. A new report by NBA analyst Steve Kyler presented more information on possible negotiations and exactly how far the deal might have progressed. It’s not a secret that big men Nikola Vucevic and Serge Ibaka have been made available by the front office in Orlando. The team wants to add offense or draft picks in exchange for one or both of them.
It has been confirmed that Celtics team president Danny Ainge spoke with the Magic about a possible deal, but that it only involved exploratory talks and not an official trade offer. It shows that both sides were trying to test the waters to see what could be possible. For Orlando, the team could have an eye on the treasure trove of draft picks that Boston currently controls. For Boston, this may be an effort to try to acquire a big man without sacrificing any future first-round picks.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, there have been other Boston Celtics trade rumors linking the team to the Chicago Bulls and All-Star Jimmy Butler. Butler could be a big addition for the Celtics, especially since he comes with a lot of team control. That is the type of player Ainge might be willing to give up a future first-round draft pick to acquire. He would immediately improve the Celtics on both offense and defense as the team tries to secure a top seed in the 2017 NBA Playoffs.
Steve Kyler had a lot of specific statements to make about the Orlando Magic in his column. It includes just how motivated the front office is to make a deal and that they aren’t pleased with given how the team has been performing during the 2016-17 NBA season. For a team that looked like it could make the NBA Playoffs quite easily, there has been a lot of turmoil reported from Orlando. This might even mean that the team is in the market to make several deals before the NBA trade deadline comes along later in February.
“There is no questioning that the Magic have been active, but what has come into question is how the Magic’s stance is represented in the media. Orlando is being aggressive and they are not hiding that. In fact, they have gone to great lengths to make sure everyone in the league knows they are not happy with the current construct of the team and are open to a deal or two.”
As for how this all plays into the latest Boston Celtics trade rumors, it confirms that there are big men other than DeMarcus Cousins, Blake Griffin, and Hassan Whiteside who could be available through a midseason deal. The current payroll for the Orlando Magic is just under $107 million, with the highest paid players on the roster being Bismark Biyombo, Evan Fournier, and Jeff Green. Green could be a candidate to be moved, as he is in the final season of his current contract, while Biyombo and Fournier are too expensive to be moved.
Serge Ibaka is the final year of his contract, earning $12.25 million for the 2016-17 NBA season. Nikola Vucevic has two more years left on his deal, earning $12.25 million next year and then $12.75 million in the 2018-19 NBA season. As far as the salaries for big men in the NBA, these are two extremely affordable ones if a team makes the right offer to Orlando. This year, Vucevic is averaging 14.0 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, while Ibaka is averaging 14.9 points and 6.9 rebounds a night.
The Orlando Magic have a 19-31 record in the Eastern Conference, putting the team four and a half games behind the Charlotte Hornets for the No. 8 seed. Time is running out to make a move, though, so the team could simply start trading off players like Jeff Green and Serge Ibaka to bring back draft picks. This is where the current Boston Celtics trade rumors start to make a lot of sense because Danny Ainge could try to find a way to acquire Ibaka without giving up too many assets.
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