The Orlando Magic had another mediocre season, as they lost in five games in the NBA Eastern Conference playoffs first round for the second straight season. While the Magic certainly have a hoard of solid NBA players, they are nowhere close to being championship contenders yet. Not a lot of NBA trade rumors have revolved around the Orlando Magic of late.
This might suggest that this period of mediocrity might continue for at least a little longer. However, the board should not settle for it.
The current Orlando Magic squad have an Achilles heel, which is known to one and all around the NBA - their offense. As good as their defense has been under the tutelage of Steve Clifford, they have struggled to win games in the NBA purely due to the lack of scoring at the other end.
The Magic rank 24th in the NBA in points scored per game - no team that made it to the playoffs was worse in that regard. The fact that they badly need a reputed scorer is more apparent now than it has ever been before, and something must be done about it this offseason.
NBA Trade Rumors - DeMar DeRozan is the best option available to the Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic did not have a single player score over 20 points per game this season, with Montenegrin center Nikola Vucevic leading them with 19.6 points. Frenchman Evan Fournier is a close second with 18.5. However, barring the two Europeans, there is no one else who can be identified as a reliable scorer.
25-year-old power forward Aaron Gordon's absence from the list of reliable scorers present in the team would disappoint the Orlando Magic fans the most. The 6'8" American averaged nearly 18 points per game in the 2017-18 season. As a result of this, many experts and fans backed him to achieve NBA stardom.
However, Gordon has shockingly regressed with each passing year since then. He finished the 2019-20 season with a below-par average of 14.4 points. Moreover, Gordon got worse as a three-point shooter as his efficiency dropped from 34.9% to 30.8%.
As things stand, it is unclear if Aaron Gordon will ever be able to reach his potential, especially if he continues with the Orlando Magic. Both parties would be better off without one another.
DeMar DeRozan's career statistics
Career points per game - 20.0
Career assists per game - 3.6
Career rebounds per game - 4.4
Career field goal % - 45.8%
Career 3pt % - 28.2%
San Antonio Spurs forward DeMar DeRozan is as reliable a scorer as they come, and his numbers prove this. DeRozan has averaged over 20 points per game in each of his last seven seasons, which proves that his consistency cannot be questioned whatsoever.
The 6'6" American is a master of the mid-range and comes alive inside the three-point arc. DeRozan has an array of moves up his sleeve and can hit a defender with a step-back just as well as he can slither to the rim for a layup.
DeRozan averaged a solid 22.1 points per game this season, with an incredible efficiency of 53.1% from the floor - a career-high. He has also improved immensely as a playmaker, as his assists per game have risen from 3.1 with the Toronto Raptors, to 5.9 with the San Antonio Spurs.
A lack of defensive skills, coupled with his inability to knock down threes at a high rate, has affected DeRozan's value negatively in the modern game. And with the San Antonio Spurs hitting the rebuild button after missing out on an NBA playoff spot for the first time in 22 years, DeMar DeRozan could well be available on the trade block.
NBA Trade Rumors - How could a potential deal between the Orlando Magic and the San Antonio Spurs work?
For any deal to take place, DeMar DeRozan will have to exercise his player option worth around $27 million for next season. Given the current market conditions, it is safe to assume that DeRozan will extend his contract with the San Antonio Spurs. A straight swap between DeRozan and Gordon should be enough since the Orlando Magic have the cap space to afford the extra salary.
This trade would give the Orlando Magic a reputed scorer that they have needed for a long time. On the other hand, the San Antonio Spurs could pick up a very promising player in Aaron Gordon, while also clearing salary off the books.
Published 19 Sep 2020, 05:00 IST