The NBA trade deadline will close next week ahead of the annual NBA All-Star Event in North Carolina. The trade window has historically closed on the Thursday after the All-Star Game, however, since 2018, the deadline has closed 10 days before the NBA's best players face off in the prestigious game.
The deadline was moved forward in order to allow traded players to sort out arrangements for themselves and their families, and the NBA is unlikely to move the deadline back anytime soon. Nevertheless, the trade deadline is still one of the most exciting times for NBA fans, and the seven days are likely to provide a number of twists and turns.
The Orlando Magic made a bright start to the season, and up until Christmas, the team was consistently in the playoff places. Nevertheless, the team has struggled since the turn of the year, and the Magic have slipped to 11th in the East standings.
A postseason appearance seems unlikely at this point, and the Magic may look to trade a number of players away, and here we will examine the most likely candidates.
#3 Jerian Grant
Despite the Orlando Magic's lack of strength at the point guard position, Jerian Grant has still been unable to force himself into the starting lineup. Grant has started just once for the Magics so far this season, and the former Bulls guard is averaging just 17.7 minutes per game.
Instead, the Magics have opted to start with longtime backup guard D.J. Augustin all season long, and it is also no secret that Orlando are targeting a much younger guard ahead of next season.
Grant still has a qualifying option for the 19/20 season, however, the 26-year-old doesn't seem to feature in Orlando's long term plans, and he could be dangled to other teams before the deadline closes.
#2 Terrence Ross
Terrence Ross has been one of the Magic's standout performers of the 18/19 season, as the former Raptors man is finally living up to the potential that resulted in him being taken with the number 8 pick of 2012 NBA draft.
Nevertheless, Ross will become a free agent in the summer, and Sporting News has reported that there is interest in the 27-year-old:
The Pelicans have shown interest in Orlando small forward Terrence Ross, who has had a career year, but is a free agent this summer and uncertain to re-sign with the Magic.
After a poor patch of form, the Magic are looking increasingly unlikely to make the postseason, and it makes sense for the team to trade Ross while they can still get something in return.
A draft pick or young player should get a deal done, and Ross should be able to continue his fine form for a playoff contender.
#1 Nikola Vucevic
Nikola Vucevic has been Orlando's best player of the season so far, averaging 20.7 points and 12.0 rebounds per game, although the center will become a free agent in the summer.
Due to this, Vucevic has been linked with a trade, and The Ringer has perfectly summed up the center's current scenario:
Vucevic has done nearly everything in his power to make himself as attractive as possible to contenders, either ahead of the February 7 trade deadline or this summer, when he hits unrestricted free agency for the first time. Despite Vucevic being the only thing keeping Orlando from turning into a dumpster fire, the issue with acquiring him might not be Orlando’s asking price.
Most of the contending teams around the league already have plenty of depth at center, so a move this month is going to depend on how much a team wants Vucevic.
Ultimately, if a team offers the Magic a good package, then it would make sense for the team to trade Vucevic.