From veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein at the NBA D-League Showcase comes word that the Orlando Magic recently attempted to acquire Goran Dragic via trade with the Miami Heat. Stein says Orlando was willing to part with Nikola Vucevic and a future first-round draft pick in exchange for the 30-year-old point guard, but the offer didn’t tempt Miami.
It’s easy to understand Orlando’s interest in Dragic: he’s putting up 19.4 points and 6.3 assists per game while shooting a career-best 41 percent from three-point distance. His ability to make plays for himself and for others off the dribble makes him a plus starter at his position.
Moreover, the Magic’s own point-guard corps has yet to impress. Elfrid Payton still does not shoot reliably enough from distance to space the floor—though he is connecting on 38.9 percent of his triple-tries in January—and D.J. Augustin is more of a stopgap option than viable starter at this stage in his career.
It’s likewise easy to understand the Heat’s reluctance to accept this reported offer. Aside from the fact that Vucevic’s productivity has declined in his first season under coach Frank Vogel, Miami re-signed Hassan Whiteside to a four-year contract worth almost $100 million this past July.
In the short term, the Magic’s most pressing need may be at the other guard position, given the injuries to Evan Fournier and Jodie Meeks. But point guard seems to be a more pressing long-term need, a fact which the reported offer for Dragic underscores. We’ll see how the Magic proceed as the NBA trade deadline draws nearer.