The Orlando Magic will be among those included in the NBA's "bubble" later this month, but there isn't a lot of optimism about their chances of getting far. As the eight seed in the East, and games under .500, nobody is really expecting anything grand from the Magic.
Which is why a trade may be in the works for them. According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, the acquisition of Chicago's Zach LaVine may be enough to put Orlando into the "next tier" of Eastern Conference contenders -- and he may be available if the Bulls decide they need to shake things up.
“If the Bulls determine they’re better off without LaVine, they’ll need to find a squad so starved for scoring that it’s willing to overlook his weaknesses. The Magic kicked the tires on 30-year-old, inside-the-arc specialist DeMar DeRozan earlier this season. If anyone can lock in on LaVine’s glowing points-per-game marks (now up to 25.5), this is the team. And who knows, maybe his shooting and creation could nudge this group to the next tier. Orlando already boasts a top-10 defense, and that ranking could keep climbing as Jonathan Isaac realizes his massive potential at that end.”
Obviously, the Magic will need more than LaVine if they want to have a real shot at the title, but trading for him is certainly a great place to start. This season, with the Bulls, he averaged 25.5 points (his highest mark yet), 4.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game on 45% shooting.
At 25-years-old, the only direction he's headed is up.
We'll see if the Magic can make a move or if they continue to be a squad "stuck in the middle" of the Eastern Conference.