The Orlando Magic are not expected to make a trade soon, according to a trusted source who spoke to Orlando Pinstriped Post. The team's 7-7 performance in its last 14 games--which immediately followed a 9-game winning streak--has fans rightfully concerned about its future, but the source said there's nothing new on the trade front within the last few days.
Orlando made two splashy trades on December 18th, swapping Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, and Mickael Pietrus with the Phoenix Suns for Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, and Earl Clark. Just minutes earlier, it sent Rashard Lewis to the Washington Wizards for Gilbert Arenas. Since the four newcomers arrived, Orlando's record stands at 16-9.
The trade with Phoenix cost the Magic their best asset, Gortat, a young, produtive center on a fair contract. Orlando's remaining non-core players--Malik Allen, Clark, Chris Duhon, Daniel Orton, and Quentin Richardson--have little value on the trade market, complicating Orlando's efforts to make a move.
If Orlando is to trade before the February 24th deadline, my own speculation--not from the source--is it'd likely involve Jason Richardson, who has an attractive expiring contract worth $14.4 million, and/or backup power forward Ryan Anderson, who ranks second only to Dwight Howard on the team in points and rebounds per minute.
The Magic's earlier trades came after an unsuccessful road trip to the West Coast, during which Orlando lost 3 of its 4 games by an average of 14.3 points. Otis Smith, the team's President of Basketball Operations, said before the season began he planned to use that road trip to evaluate the team, meaning the trades were not a knee-jerk response to the trip itself.
Notably, the Magic executed the trades more than two months before the trading deadline, meaning it can include the players it acquired in combination with other players before the deadline. Per the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, a team over the salary cap may not trade a player it acquires in-season with another player for a two-month period, though it may trade the player on his own. Thus, Orlando may pakage Arenas, Clark, Jason Richardson, and Turkoglu with any of its other players in another deal beginning February 18th. Given the sums remaining on the contracts of Arenas and Turkoglu, this stipulation realistically only affects Clark and Jason Richardson.
Brian Schmitz, the Orlando Sentinel's Magic Insider, reported last week the Magic may consider moving Anderson or Brandon Bass for a veteran big man with a lengthier record of success in the postseason. The third-year man only has played in just 9 postseason games, all last season with Orlando.
This weekend, ESPN's Marc Stein reported the Magic are among several teams to tell the Suns they will be interested in future Hall-of-Fame point guard Steve Nash if Phoenix makes him available. A more pressing need for the Magic is to find a competent backup to Howard at center. Currently, the team only rotates Howard, Bass, and Anderson at that position, with the veteran Allen providing spot minutes if healthy.