Orlando Magic: Dealing With Depth
Orlando, FL - The Orlando Magic have finally gotten healthy with Glen Davis and Tobias Harris making their returns from injury. With these additions Orlando is experiencing a minutes crunch and promising young players aren’t getting playing time. While the East is weak Orlando doesn’t figure to be a big player in the playoff picture in the East. With this in mind it would be in Orlando’s best future interest to deal some of their veterans as soon as possible.
Arron Afflalo – Afflalo has been the best Shooting Guard in the NBA to this point in the season. He’s averaging over 21 points and over 4 assists and rebounds per game while shooting over 50% from 3. His value will likely never be higher and there are bound to be teams searching for a panic trade and Afflalo would likely be a high priority. From Orlando’s perspective they currently have Victor Oladipo, Doron Lamb and E’Twuan Moore that can also play the 2 spot. Moore is having a career year and Oladipo is the #2 pick in the draft while Lamb isn’t currently in the rotation. The dilemma however isn’t whether or not the young guys need more PT it’s whether or not with Afflalo’s current level of play why wouldn’t you want him involved with your team in the future? At this point I feel like Arron won’t be dealt unless somebody completely blows away Orlando with an offer and that might be for the best.
Jameer Nelson – Nelson has struggled severely this season. He’s shooting under 40% from the field and is shooting a career low from 3 point range (32.2%). His defense has declined even further which legitimately makes him one of the worst on ball defenders in an NBA that is currently dominated by athletic Point Guards. On the plus side Nelson can run an offense effectively and defenses still respect his ability to shoot (for now) and he could prove to be a solid backup PG or a starting PG if somebody’s starter goes down. Nelson is only guaranteed 2 million this season so he’s practically a half season rental for a team trying to get over the hump. Orlando likely won’t expect much value in return but would probably like to free up some more minutes for #2 pick Victor Oladipo.
Glen Davis – Davis just came back from injury and has had his ups and downs already. Last year however, Davis had a career season in just about every single statistical category. Davis is an excellent 3rd big for a playoff team. Can score in double digits and help teams maintain defensive intensity. Davis is actually a good fit in Orlando but with guys like Nikola Vucevic, Andrew Nicholson, Kyle O’Quinn and Tobias Harris the frontcourt minutes are better allotted elsewhere. Davis’ value could be hindered by his contract (6.6 million due in 2014) since it seems teams are trying to make plays for marquee Free Agents this off-season. While Orlando might be best off dealing Davis to free up minutes for other guys I don’t expect Orlando’s savvy GM Rob Hennigan to deal Davis just for the sake of making a deal.
The trade deadline like the previous 2 should be very busy time for Orlando. However this trade deadline is special in a sense. This deadline should offer clarity into Rob Hennigan’s “process” and the vision he has for Orlando’s future.