Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic is starting to get frustrated with the struggles of his team. Recently, he was moved to the bench and this did not go well with the big man from Montenegro. This also prompted Orlando Magic trade rumors that he will eventually be dealt from the Florida team.
Other trade speculations point to the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves as the teams likely to make a deal before the NBA trade deadline.
“I spoke to Frank [Vogel] about it last night, and obviously I wasn’t happy with the decision they made,” Vucevic shared to orlandopinstripedpost.com.
“I didn’t think that there was a reason for me to go to the bench, but it’s coaches decision. All I can do is control what I can control, which is when I’m on the court, play to the best of my ability and help the team win. Stay professional and whatever is going on, I’ll keep giving my best and give them my full effort.”
While Vucevic was kind enough to admit he respects head coach Vogel’s decision, the frustration is clear with the big man. The 26-year-old has started most of his games in Orlando in previous seasons.
Vogel made the decision to play Vucevic off the bench, behind big men Serge Ibaka and Bismack Biyombo. The Orlando Magic owns a 6-1 win-loss record so far this year, not the start they expected after making a splash in the trade market last offseason.
Orlando Magic not done dealing after active summer?
Last summer, they shipped Victor Oladipo and other players to the Oklahoma City Thunder to acquire Ibaka.
Vogel justified the decision to move Vucevic to the bench in the same article.
“We’re 30th in offense; I want to explore some new combinations in the same nine guys being in the rotation. Try to get a different feel, a different flow,” Vogel said.
“Again, Vooch played near the same amount of minutes as he did the other night since we went to a three-man rotation with the big spot. It was really trying to give us a different feel, create a little bit of a different identity and see if some other things will work because things have not been working for us on the offensive end. So, just looking at all our options.”
For Vogel, there is no problem for Vucevic to having the reserve role since he’ll be used the same way as before, but this time with the team’s second unit.
Magic deals with Celtics, T’wolves?
However, Vucevic is already struggling this year. He is averaging 12.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. His scoring is down compared to the previous four years.
Two teams that are anticipated to be active in the trade front are the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves. Both teams can provide the Magic some wing players to help them in their shooting woes this season.
Orlando Magic trade rumors should be expected before the deadline in February should the team continue to struggle this season.
Photo Courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr