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Orlando Magic should trade for veteran star, says analyst

According to Chad Ford of ESPN, Orlando is ready to take another step forward.

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Following Wednesday's ugly victory over the Brooklyn Nets, the Orlando Magic stand at 19-13, good for the fifth-best record in the competitive Eastern Conference. Indeed, Orlando remains just one game out of second place... and a mere 1.5 games out of ninth. The time for Orlando to make a playoff push has come, says ESPN Insider analyst Chad Ford, and the best way for the Magic to accomplish that task is by swinging a trade for a proven and productive veteran.

"Now is the time to exchange to surplus of youth for some win-now talent," says Ford, who notes that Orlando is well ahead of schedule thanks in large part to new coach Scott Skiles, who has improved his team at both ends of the floor. While fans who've grown attached to members of the young core which Rob Hennigan has assembled in his three-plus seasons on the job may bristle at the idea of parting with at least one of its members, Ford points out that Orlando can afford to cash in its chips: their top six players in terms of minutes are 25 or younger.

As far as potential trade targets, Ford suggests Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, though he admits landing the 25-year-old All-Star would be a longshot. More realistic targets include Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari and New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson, a former Magic player. Ford also indicates Joakim Noah, who played under Skiles with the Chicago Bulls, could be available.

Do you agree with Ford's assessment that Orlando needs to make a "win-now" move? If so, whom should it target? Or do you believe Hennigan should stay the course with his surprisingly strong club?

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