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Magic vs. Nuggets preview: Who will be in Orlando’s lineup with trade rumors swirling?

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The Magic kick off a three-game homestand with less than 48 hours remaining until the trade deadline

Orlando Magic v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Who will be in the Orlando Magic lineup tonight?

That has been a season-long question for a team ravaged by injury. But beginning Tuesday against the Nuggets, that question will be asked for an entirely different reason: the trade deadline.

With rumors swirling around the team, making it seem as if Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier could be leaving town at any second, it will be interesting to see if the two are held out of the game while the front office continues taking and making calls. Reports indicate the Magic plan to wait until the Thursday deadline to make a deal as buyers outbid the competition.

The latest rumors have the Celtics as the frontrunners to land Gordon. That package reportedly could also include Fournier, who has also drawn interest from the Mavericks and Knicks, reports say.

So whether the two are held out, or if a deal gets done within the next 24 hours, the Magic could be shorthanded for their back-to-back against the Nuggets and Suns, two games that are challenging even at full strength.

With the injury luck on this team this season, neither player should step foot on court against the Nuggets of the Suns, quite frankly.

Here is everything you need to know about the circumstances surrounding the Magic at the trade deadline, courtesy of Garrett Townsend, and here are seven players the Magic should be targeting in a deal, courtesy of Aaron Goldstone.

Orlando has lost 10 of its last 11 games, having failed to reach 100 points in four of their previous five games. They got a nice offensive contribution from James Ennis in his return from an eight-game absence during their loss to the Celtics on Sunday, as he scored a season-high 18 points in 21 minutes. But with the increasing likelihood that two of the Magic’s top four leading scorers - Fournier at 19.1 points per game and Gordon at 14.7 per - will be dealt in packages that could be centered mostly around draft picks, buckets will be hard to come by down the final stretch of the season for a team that already ranks third to last in offensive rating at 105.2 points per 100 possessions.

That could begin as early as Tuesday when the Magic kick off their three-game homestand, which will be immediately followed by a five-game West Coast trip.

The Nuggets, winners of eight of their last 10 games, are coming off a loss to the Pelicans in which Nikola Jokic recorded his 11th triple double of the season. Two days after the Magic allowed the Celtics to hit 23 three-pointers, now enters a Denver team that is one of the league’s most efficient three-point shooting teams at 38.8 percent and one of the highest scoring teams, with the league’s fifth best rating at 116.6.

The Nuggets are also rumored to be one of the many teams interested in acquiring Aaron Gordon.

The next 48 hours will be quite interesting for the Orlando Magic.


Who: Orlando Magic (14-28) vs. Denver Nuggets (25-17)

When: Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Where: Amway Center - Orlando, Florida

TV: Fox Sports Florida