NBA Trade Rumors: Cole Anthony set to be odd man out in Magic backcourt?

Orlando Magic Jalen Suggs and guard Cole Anthony (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports)
Orlando Magic Jalen Suggs and guard Cole Anthony (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports) /

NBA Trade Rumors: Cole Anthony may end up being the odd man out in the Orlando Magic backcourt. 

As one of the most talented young teams in the Eastern Conference, the Orlando Magic will have some interesting decisions to make. With as much young talent as they have, it’s only natural for Orlando to have to pick and choose who they elect to continue to invest in. And after adding two more prospects to their backcourt, Orlando likely will need to decide which guards are foundational pieces and which aren’t.

Here’s the biggest problem that the Magic has in the backcourt: They have several solid good contributors but haven’t found their long-term answer in the backcourt. Orlando basically has five players (Markelle Fultz, Gary Harris, Cole Anthony, Anthony Black, and Jalen Suggs) battling for four rotational spots.

It would not be out of the realm of probability that the Magic trade one of these players in an attempt to free up the rotation. Or, they could wait out their contract situations and play the long game.

Fultz, Harris, and Anthony are entering the final years of their contracts. Anthony is due for an early extension but according to a recent report, the word is that the Magic aren’t likely to offer him an early extension and could end up trading him before the start of the season.

Should the Orlando Magic move on from Cole Anthony?

Anthony is currently listed as the Magic’s backup point guard but could end up losing his spot in that role if Black is ahead of his development. In a best-case scenario for the Magic, Black, who was a top-10 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, is a player who could develop in a way where he can take over the starting reins at the position sooner rather than later.

After three seasons with the team, Anthony has been pretty inconsistent. This past season, Anthony averaged 13 points, five rebounds, and four assists on 45 percent shooting from the field. After being a starter in his sophomore season, Anthony came off the bench this past season.

But at just 23 years old, would it be the smartest move to cut ties with Anthony? That’s the difficult part. At the same time, does the Magic want to risk losing him for nothing next summer when he can test the restricted free agency market?

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Those are all variables that the Magic will have to swift through over the next couple of weeks when it comes to Anthony.