This NBA trade deadline was an active one for the Orlando Magic.
Tuesday they sent Tobias Harris--fresh off signing a four-year contract extension--to the Detroit Pistons for the veterans Brandon Jennings and Ersan İlyasova. And on Thursday, they dealt Channing Frye to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a salary dump. In addition, Orlando reportedly explored the possibility of shipping Shabazz Napier to the Chicago Bulls, but that deal didn't materialize.
Now the club's roster for the balance of the 2015/16 season is set. Here's our best guess at how Scott Skiles may organize his rotation.
|PG||Elfrid Payton||Brandon Jennings||Shabazz Napier
|SG||Victor Oladipo||Mario Hezonja||Devyn Marble|
|PF||Aaron Gordon||Ersan İlyasova||Andrew Nicholson|
|C||Nik Vučević||Jason Smith||Dewayne Dedmon|
Jennings and İlyasova bring experience and stability to what had been an iffy bench unit, and Magic general manager Rob Hennigan indicated their veteran status ought to help his young club as it makes a bid to qualify for the playoffs. Orlando trails the eighth-seeded Charlotte Hornets by three games in the loss column with 30 games left on the schedule, and both the Pistons and Washington Wizards stand between Orlando and Charlotte.
The wings look thin, but we ought to acknowledge that Aaron Gordon can shift to small forward in lineups with two traditional bigs. Such alignments would cramp the Magic's spacing to an alarming degree, but that route is still one Skiles can consider taking. Mario Hezonja can also spend time at the three.
But the trades Orlando made aren't really about the final 30 games of the season as much as they are about July. The Magic can spend big in free agency after unloading Harris and Frye. This depth chart figures to change in a major way over the summer, and it's not difficult to envision a scenario in which they only bring back their six core players--Payton, Oladipo, Hezonja, Fournier, Gordon, and Vučević--from this group.