NBA Trade Deadline 2019: 5 buried veterans who could help a contender

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(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images) /

1. Terrence Ross — G, Orlando Magic

Yeah, so we cheated a bit for the last spot. Ross isn’t buried on Orlando’s bench…yet. That could change quickly though if the losses keep mounting and the Magic pivot into tank mode.

Therein lies the biggest issue with whether Ross finds a new home by February 7 or not: Orlando is currently just a game back of the final playoff spot.

It’s easy for observers to downplay the benefits of making the postseason only to get steamrolled in the first round, and even go so far as to argue that it’s doing a disservice to the long term health of a franchise. This goes doubly so with the new lottery rules, where the 9th place team in the East should have a one in four chance of grabbing a top-four pick.

Tell that to an organization in the bottom half of the league in attendance that hasn’t made the playoffs since Stan Van Gundy wathe s coach. Orlando is perhaps the least relevant franchise in the sport, and at some point, you just need to feel good about yourself.

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That said, you could argue that just missing the playoffs would allow the Magic to have their cake and eat it to, although it would leave an icky taste in their mouth if said near-miss came after dealing away their best perimeter threat. Ross is legit. He’s one of four players on pace to play 2000 minutes this season who is averaging at least eight 3-point attempts per 36 minutes while hitting them at over a 38 percent clip, the other three being Steph Curry, Paul George and Buddy Hield.

His defense is good enough, and most importantly, he’s on an expiring $10.5 million deal. If Orlando decides to fold up the tent and take back some other team’s bad money in Ross’ place, there’s a good chance they could get a first round pick back in return.