The Magic are three games back of the playoffs and Ross is a free agent at season’s end. His $10.5 million contract limits his trade value, but teams will certainly be interested in a shooter like Ross.
Orlando have perhaps overachieved a little this season thanks to Nikola Vucevic’s big year. They are looking to end their playoff drought but must be considering selling at the deadline. Ross and Vucevic are on expiring deals and could provide a return that may help their next contending team in the coming years.
Ross is a career 37.2% shooter from three, shooting 37.7% this season on a career-high 6.2 attempts from beyond the arc per game. Almost every playoff team will be interested in adding a knockdown shooter, though some are more in need than others.
Unlike other options on the trade market, Ross is more than a catch-and-shoot guy. We have seen fadeaways, stepbacks and transition buckets from the former Raptor. He will hustle and is capable of playing more than solid defence.
Orlando play their best basketball – averaging 8.8 points more per 100 possessions than their opponents – when Ross is on the floor with Vucevic and Gordon. The 28-year-old has featured exclusively off the bench this season, but he’s been one of the Magic’s most important pieces.
It remains to be seen what Orlando do over the next couple of days. Ross is an asset and will attract trade interest aplenty if made available. Sporting News reported back in December that the Lakers were keen on Ross, though they are focused on Anthony Davis at the moment.
Should Orlando sell, the price for Ross will be high enough to put off some teams. The Lakers and Warriors are not going to be involved; the Rockets, Sixers and Thunder could all be interested.
The Magic will likely demand picks or young talent in exchange for Ross.
The Thunder need extra shooting and could take the gamble. The Sixers have Miami’s future pick but could be reluctant to give up assets for a rental like Ross. Philadelphia moved in the buyout market last season and may go down that route again.
No team is in win now as much as the Rockets. They are perhaps the best fit for Ross as they look to surround James Harden with more shooting and add depth. Kenneth Faried was brought in last month and helped out. Houston do not have any players that would interest Orlando but showed in their pursuit of Jimmy Butler that they are willing to trade picks. Having suffered in the absence of Trevor Ariza, Ross would be a great addition on the wing as Houston look to make a deep playoff run.