The Orlando Magic continue to be quiet on the trade front, according to a source Orlando Pinstriped Post consulted yesterday, even as the February 24th trade deadline draws nearer. However, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated did post this update earlier this morning:
Any report that reads "Orlando called (insert team name) to express interest in (insert power forward/center)" is probably true. GM Otis Smith has come up empty so far in search of a backup big man to replace Marcin Gortat. That Smith has tried to dampen expectations means he is not optimistic about landing one before the deadline.
Indeed, it appears likely at this point that Orlando's post-deadline rotation of bigs will remain the same: Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderson at power forward, with Dwight Howard at center, and Malik Allen playing spot minutes at either position if needed. Earl Clark, too, may figure into the power forward rotation depending on matchups.
Mannix's update will disappoint Magic fans hoping the team might land another quality center, but there is hope embedded therein: a source told Mannix that Orlando is "the most likely destination" for New Jersey Nets power forward Troy Murphy, but only if the Nets buy him out after the deadline. Naturally, that's far from a sure thing.
According to a recent report from Al Iannazzone of the Bergen Record, the Nets "are talking to numerous teams about [trading] him" and "are confident they can trade Murphy." If New Jersey does manage to unload his expiring contract, worth almost $12 million, Orlando would need to look elsewhere for big-man depth.