Why the Orlando Magic should say yes to this Russell Westbrook trade
If this was MLB and there was no salary-cap floor then the Orlando Magic might not do this trade as the owners would probably just rather be cheap and be bad. However, since they have to reach that luxury tax floor anyways, it makes sense for the Magic to take on Russell Westbrook’s contract if they are getting assets along with him.
The Magic are not going to get any trade value out of the guys they sent to the Lakers as none of those three players are really worth much. You could make the case that the Lakers could try and re-find Ross’s old ceiling but no contending team is going to trade an asset for him at that price.
The Magic are going to have to spend in free agency next offseason because of the luxury-tax floor. Rather than overpay someone on a four-year deal, because that is what they are going to have to do to convince someone to come to Orlando, it makes more sense for the Magic to get a year and a half of Westbrook, eat his salary, avoid having to overpay anyone on a four-year deal and get two first-round picks in all of that.
It is as simple as that. The Magic are a team that completely hit the reset button this season and are not interested in winning many games. They want to be in the lottery and they want to have the no. 1 overall pick in the coming years.
The only potential concern for the Magic in this trade is Westbrook raising the floor of the team and playing them out of the first overall pick. In order to combat that, the Magic could simply not play Westbrook for the rest of the season like the Rockets are with John Wall and then simply buy him out in the offseason.
The Magic get to the salary-cap floor next season without having to bring in any bad contracts and they get two first-round picks for their trouble. It is the Oklahoma City Thunder model.