Without a doubt, Orlando‘s Front Office was certainly busy during the Trade Deadline. Simply put, Orlando traded their three best players in two-time All-Star Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier, and Aaron Gordon for plenty of young assets to use in their upcoming rebuild. In addition to acquiring five future draft picks (Three First-Round and Two Second-Rounders), the Magic got young talent in the form of Gary Harris, Otto Porter Jr., Wendell Carter Jr., and R.J. Hampton. Orlando’s General Manager Jeff Weltman understood that the Magic, at 15-30 entering the deadline, needed a shakeup in their roster. And Weltman certainly thinks he accomplished that. No one expects the ‘new look Magic’ to make any damage for the remainder of this season. But moving forward, Orlando has three big assets that can completely rebuild this team and get them back to the Playoffs.
1. Orlando’s New Players
If it wasn’t clear already, the Magic got younger as a team by trading three proven veterans for four young players. The most intriguing player the Magic received is 2020 1st-Round pick R.J. Hampton from Denver. Despite logging 9.3 MPG in 25 Games for the Nuggets this season, Hampton already was on the Magic’s radar during the 2020 NBA Draft. The Magic were very high on Hampton during the pre-draft process and were impressed with him off the court after meeting with him. Ultimately, Orlando selected Cole Anthony with the 15th overall pick, but was still able to acquire both players. With the way Anthony has developed throughout the season, a potential bench backcourt of Anthony and Hampton should give Orlando plenty of optimism. The Magic also acquired shooting specialist Harris, who has knocked down 44.2% from the field and 32.0% from three-point range this season.
Along with acquiring Hampton and Harris, Orlando got two more contributors from Chicago. Surprisingly, the Magic may have found Vucevic’s heir apparent from the team they traded him to (for now) in Wendell Carter Jr. Through 32 games, Carter Jr. is averaging 10.9 PPG, 7.8 RPG, and 2.1 APG. Carter Jr.’s offensive style is similar to Vucevic’s, as both big men are effective with shooting the ball. Carter Jr. is shooting 51.2% from the field and 36.4% from three-point range. He isn’t better than Vucevic, but is a cheaper and younger option. Orlando also got Otto Porter Jr. in the blockbuster trade. Porter Jr. is averaging 9.9 PPG, 5.5 RPG, and 2.0 APG, but is set to be an unrestricted free agent, meaning his contract will come off the books this summer for Orlando.
2. Orlando’s Major Draft Compensation
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