The 2013-14 NBA trade deadline expired Thursday afternoon without the Orlando Magic making a deal.
Perhaps the biggest winner at the deadline was veteran point guard Jameer Nelson, who has said repeatedly he wants to remain with the Magic for the long-term and wants to see the Magic’s rebuilding process through to its conclusion.
Nelson, 32, could’ve helped a contending team that needs additional depth at point guard. But the league’s four elite teams — the Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs — are all set at that position.
The Washington Wizards might have been a possible landing spot for Nelson, but the Wizards solidified their backcourt on Thursday by acquiring Andre Miller from the Denver Nuggets in a trade that also involved the Philadelphia 76ers.
Trading Nelson would’ve opened additional playing time for prized rookie Victor Oladipo, who currently is coming off the bench. Giving Oladipo more playing time might have helped Magic decision-makers determine whether Oladipo can become a full-time NBA point guard.
On the other hand, there were intangible dangers to trading Nelson.
Team officials value Nelson’s presence in a locker room filled with youngsters, and team officials also were somewhat leery of downgrading their team.
Even though the Magic have a meager 16-40 record, the Magic haven’t suffered through one blowout loss after another, the way the 76ers have in recent weeks. Trading away Nelson may have hurt the team’s offense and hurt locker-room morale. A string of blowout losses is challenging for any coach — even a perpetually positive coach like Jacque Vaughn — and team officials were disinclined to subject Vaughn to that challenge.
Asked by the Magic’s flagship radio station whether he attempted to initiate any deals, Hennigan answered, “I would categorize it as, at least from our end, we did a lot more listening than, I think, actively exploring.”
The Magic engaged in trade talks regarding Glen Davis but couldn’t reach a deal. The team instead reached a buyout agreement with Davis that will end Davis’ tenure with the franchise.
Shooting guard Arron Afflalo, the team’s best and most consistent player this season — and a player whom Magic executives like — cannot become a free agent until the summer of 2015, anyway. So the team had no need to try to acquire assets for him.
Team officials might consider trades involving Afflalo as the 2014 NBA Draft approaches. The Magic will have two first-round picks: their own and either the New York Knicks’ or the Nuggets’ pick, whichever is worse.
A trade package involving Afflalo and one or both of those picks could generate an attractive offer.
Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at email@example.com and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun