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While the Orlando Magic have performed admirably early on this season, winning is not the short-term goal of this team and the better-than-expected performance likely won’t continue.
Orlando’s top three trade assets are Jameer Nelson, Arron Afflalo, and Glen Davis. It’s a triumvirate of solid veteran contributors that can appeal to teams with different positional needs. The biggest reason for Orlando to make a deal (or two) is to increase their odds at the top pick in a loaded 2014 draft.
The most desired prize for Orlando is a first round pick, but most teams will be loathed to give one away in the upcoming draft. The best chance of getting a pick may come from dealing Nelson, Afflalo, and Davis to contenders that need some depth and will end up with a pick in the 20s. The alternative, getting a young player with potential, also comes from these teams who would rather make a push for the title now than build for the coming years.
Of course, salaries in a deal need to match up, which means the Magic would likely be getting something back other than the real asset they want. Other teams will probably look to offload some unwanted salary in a deal.
The framework of most possible trades has Orlando giving up one of the aforementioned three vets for a pick or young player and a salary dump. That’s the ideal scenario for the Magic.