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Monday, August 8, 2022
Home Sports NBA The Orlando Magic having a quiet trade deadline was a smart move

The Orlando Magic having a quiet trade deadline was a smart move


CLEVELAND, OHIO – FEBRUARY 18: Jalen Suggs # 4 of the Orlando Magic waves to the crowd after being introduced before the 2022 Clorox Rising Stars at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on February 18, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and / or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller / Getty Images)

The Orlando Magic had a very different approach at the trade deadline compared to last year, as they decided to make very small moves around the fringes of their roster. This was somewhat of a surprise, given that the Magic are currently in a position where they could have offloaded some of their more veteran players in order to accumulate more assets for the future.

Terrence Ross was the one name that fans expected to see moved to a contender, but that did not happen and Ross did not seem to mind. Upon reflection, perhaps it was silly to expect this to happen. After all, rosters need some veterans to show the youngsters how to be professional basketball players, and there are few more professional than Ross in the game today.

So in fact, the Orlando Magic organization was right to do nothing and instead see out the remainder of this season with what they’ve got.

Why is that? Well, they have two players in Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac who will, at some stage, come back and join the group. Both have been gone for far longer than they should have after both tore their ACLs. It’s great to be cautious and not rush a player back, but in the case of Isaac, he has been gone for an outrageous amount of time at this point.

To put that into context, the day after Isaac got injured, Russell Westbrook started for the Houston Rockets in the NBA’s bubble. So yes, it’s been a long time. But if you’re still somehow optimistic about the long-term fit of Isaac and Fultz with this group, then doing nothing at the trade deadline is the strongest indication that you will eventually be proved right.

When both guys do return, they will feel like new signings, no matter how productive they are. Isaac has never played with Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs, for example, and his skillset would appear to mesh very well with both of those guys on paper. Fultz represents a different way of running a team to Anthony, or even Suggs, which again, needs to be explored before tough decisions are made.

But by not taking back any more picks or young players, the Orlando Magic are saying that they like what they have right now and that Fultz and Isaac have the potential to make it even better. They will have their own lottery pick this year, and we might already know who they’re takingas well as the potential of a pick from the Chicago Bulls from the Nikola Vucevic deal.

RJ Hampton is still on the team, and although Gary Harris is a player that other franchises will hope gets bought out, he’s playing really well and should be kept around for now. On top of all of this, the sneaky addition that the Magic did make (no, not those sweet, sweet cash considerations), was taking a flyer on Bol Bol.

Bol came across from the Boston Celtics (as well as PJ Dozier, who was waived), and although we will not see him this year, he represents intrigue if Isaac never returns as the player the Magic need him to be. Is Bol in Isaac’s class defensively? Not at all, but he has the raw skills to at least try to be one day. And like Isaac, he would be playing with guys that complement his skillset.

There’s no pressure on Bol to do anything in Orlando, and those same conditions worked wonders with Fultz in the past. The Magic are in a can not lose situation with Bol, and making a trade deadline move like this again shows the shrewdness of the front office. They made their big deals last year in getting rid of Vucevic, Evan Fournier, and Aaron Gordon.

They were right to do so and will spend the rest of this season seeing if any of their younger players make another leap. It was fantastic to see Wagner, Anthony and Suggs involved at the Rising Stars event at All-Star weekend, and they will hopefully return from Cleveland ready to push forward even more.

The organization did not need to panic at the deadline, and it is actually great that they stood pat. The Orlando Magic have one of the better young cores in the NBA, and there was zero reason to rush that.

Fans have taken a liking to Wagner and Anthony, especially, and putting some more young talent around them for next season will not hurt. This was just another correct move by the franchise on their path to relevancy once again.





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