Should The Magic Trade Nikola Vucevic By The Trading Deadline?
So far this season, the Orlando Magic are off to a 10-11 start, which has been surprising. The key cog to the Magic’s success this season has been center Nikola Vucevic. In 22 games played this season, Vucevic has been spectacular.
He’s averaging a career high in points, averaging 20.8 points per game and is averaging 11.1 rebounds per game. With Vucevic scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent next summer, should the Magic trade him before the trading deadline? That’s a tough question. Let’s break down things from both sides of the coin.
The Case Why The Magic Should Keep Nikola Vucevic
The case for the Magic to keep Vucevic will be based on if they’re in the hunt for a playoff spot in February. Plus, the Magic also are looking to bring back a winning culture they’ve lacked since the Dwight Howard era. The franchise is currently going a playoff drought, missing the playoffs for five straight seasons now. Keeping Vucevic, who’s the Magic’s best player, will send a message to fans that they’re trying to win.
Another reason why the Magic should keep Vucevic is also simple. In terms of talent, this is the best Magic roster that’s in place since Howard was shipped to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012. The eastern conference is also up for grabs, and they’ve shown they can compete with the NBA’s best.
Thus far, they’ve swept the Lakers, defeated the Philadelphia 76ers, and gave the Golden State Warriors a run for their money on Monday night at Oracle Arena. Those are positives because they’ve shown people they aren’t pushovers. A Vucevic trade would also definitely bring back that narrative, and it would go against the culture Magic head coach Steve Clifford is trying to put in place.
The Case Why The Magic Should Trade Vucevic By The February 7th Trading Deadline
Obviously, any situation can be looked at in more than one way, and Vucevic’s situation is no different. The case why the Magic should trade Vucevic could be based on Mohamed Bamba, who they drafted sixth overall in the NBA draft this past summer. Vucevic is owed $12.7 million this season, and will be in line to getting a max deal next summer. Bamba is 20 years of age and has a chance to be the Magic’s franchise player down the road.
Another case why the Magic should trade Vucevic will be based on how long can he be the main cog behind their success this season. We’ve witnessed young teams like the one the Magic currently have in place flame out by February. If that happens, trading Vucevic should be the way to go. You would rather get something for him than play out the season and miss the playoffs again this season. It would be a wasted season if that were to happen.
The Celtics Could Give The Magic What They Would Want For Nikola Vucevic
As for teams who could use Vucevic if the Magic aren’t in the playoff hunt in February, keep an eye on the Boston Celtics. Terry Rozier, who will be a restricted free agent next summer, is likely going to be out of Boston. Out of all of the positions the Magic need to upgrade, the point guard spot is the main one.
D.J. Augustin has been solid this season, but he’s more of a backup point guard. So if the Magic start fading out of playoff contention, they should be able to contact Danny Ainge to possibly work out a deal. It would make sense for both sides. The Magic would get a young point guard that’s better than anyone they have, and the Celtics get a center that can help them make a deep playoff run into June.
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