On the day of the NBA trade deadline, the Orlando Magic essentially blew up their entire existing roster.
The landslide of big-name players leaving the franchise kicked off on Thursday with the blockbuster trade of All-Star center Nikola Vucevic to the Chicago Bulls. Soon after that move, the Magic also sent second-leading scorer Evan Fournier to the Boston Celtics. Finally, the wild trade day presumably ended with the departure of high-flyer Aaron Gordon to the Denver Nuggets.
With the three of these players spending a combined 23 seasons with the Magic, there is now very little veteran leadership remaining on the squad.
That newly-voided leadership role now falls squarely on the shoulders of Terrence Ross.
Taking to Twitter to react to the drastic roster reshaping, Ross had a hilarious response. Using the famous Gif from the 2013 film “Captain Phillips,” the nine-year NBA veteran highlighted his new position.
“Look at me. I am the captain now,” the Gif reads.
— Terrence Ross (@TerrenceRoss) March 25, 2021
Averaging a career-high 16 points per game this season, Ross now moves into the leading scorer position with the departure of Vucevic (24.5 ppg) and Fournier (19.7 ppg). The fifth-year Orlando shooting guard is now also the oldest player on the roster.
In exchange for three of their top players, the Magic took in a pretty big haul of young talent and future draft picks. Here’s the list of assets acquired in today’s massive trade dealings:
- Otto Porter
- Wendell Carter Jr.
- Gary Harris
- RJ Hampton
- Three first-round picks
- Two second-round picks
If it wasn’t already clear that the Magic are banking on young player development, it certainly is now.