The Orlando Magic have been busy leading up to Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.
They traded small forward Tobias Harris to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for guard Brandon Jennings and forward Ersan Ilyasova on Tuesday.
The Magic reportedly tried to make an even larger deal to acquire Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin. According to broadcaster David Baumann, the Magic offered Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon to the Clippers. That trade, however, was shot down by L.A.
The deal would have made sense for Orlando in the long term because Griffin is a top 15 player when healthy. But he’s recovering from a broken right hand and his return to game action isn’t imminent.
The Magic are 3 1/2 games out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and can’t afford to drop much further because some of the teams around them in the standings could improve before the trade deadline.
Orlando needs to acquire players who can help immediately and Griffin won’t do that.
The Clippers rejecting this deal isn’t a huge setback for the Magic when you look at the reported offer. Vucevic is a very good center. He’s averaging 17 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. He leads the team in all three categories. Gordon hasn’t developed as fast as maybe the Magic anticipated, but his athleticism and improving offensive game make keeping the former No. 4 overall draft pick around for a while longer.
As for the Clippers, they’re in win-now mode and it would benefit them to acquire a legit superstar in any potential deal involving Griffin.
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