The imminent separation of Cleveland Cavaliers superstars Kyrie Irving and LeBron James will give other teams in the Eastern Conference a chance to excel and advance to the NBA Finals. In an interview with The Times-Picayune, Orlando Magic veteran point guard #D.J. Augustin said the possible trade of Irving will give hope to other Eastern Conference squads which have been chasing the Cavaliers for years now.

Augustin said the imminent trade of Irving would encourage other teams to become better and beef up their chances of beating James and the Cavaliers.

Despite his nine-year stay in the NBA, Augustin said he’s still shocked by Irving’s trade demand. However, Augustin said discontent is part of being in the league, especially behind the scenes. Augustin is still hoping that James and Irving will resolve their differences.

Augustin, who signed a four-year, $29 million deal with the Magic in 2016, said he’s now embracing the role of a leader on a young roster. Last season, he averaged 7.9 points and 2.7 assists in 78 games last season. He said the biggest goal for the Magic now is to make it to the playoffs for the first time in six years.

Magic added several key players

The Magic have signed former San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Jonathon Simmons to a three-year, $18 million deal and added a power forward Marreese Speights and guard Arron Afflalo to one-year, veteran’s minimum deals.

The Magic also signed Shelvin Mack to a two-year deal worth $12 million to share point guard duties with Augustin.

This will be Afflalo’s second stint with the Magic, where he played from 2012 to 2014 before was traded to the Denver Nuggets. Last season, he played for the Sacramento Kings but was waived after they took De'Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson and Harry Giles from the 2017 Draft.

He played 61 games with the Kings, averaging 8.4 points per game.

Speights a key addition to the Magic

The 29-year-old Speights will be a key addition to the young Magic lineup due to his nine-year NBA experience. He last played for the Los Angeles Clippers, where he signed last season after winning an NBA title with the Golden State Warriors in the 2014-15 season.

In his career, he also played for the Philadelphia 76ers, Memphis Grizzlies, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Last season, he averaged 8.7 points and 4.5 rebounds a game in 15.7 minutes of action per game in 82 outings last season, where he buried 37.2 percent of his attempts from three-point range.