December 18, 2010 12 Comments
Oh boy, a big blockbuster trade before the New Year even hits. What a nice early Christmas present for us basketball fans, making this already very intriguing season that much more interesting.
In case you don’t know exactly how this intricate trade between the Suns, Magic and Wizard breaks down here it is: The Washington Wizards acquired only one player, Rashard Lewis. The Orlando Magic acquired Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark. Phoenix obtained Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus, Marcin Gortat and the Magic’s 1st round pick in 2011.
This trade is an enormous change for all 3 teams, especially the Magic and Suns, and from the initial looks of it I think that it screams win for each franchise involved.
The Washington Wizards have been looking to dump Gilbert Arenas and his fat Albert Haynesworth-Vernon Wells-like contract of $111 million over 6 years. A couple of major injuries, the infamous gun incident, and Arenas not reaching even close to the level of play that he was at the season prior to signing his big contract has made former Agent 0 a very expendable player and one of the biggest disappointments in the NBA.
This trade should be great for the Wizards because it leaves John Wall as the starting point guard with no one breathing down his neck. John Wall has interchanged, partially because of injuries, between starting and the bench, but the departure of Gilbert Arenas gives the Wizards franchise a clear direction to where they want to go and who they want to build around.
Let’s be honest, the Wizards have a long way ago and just being able to get rid of Arenas was a step in the right direction. Not only do they free up the backcourt for John Wall, but they are also giving their franchise player a legitimate weapon in Rashard Lewis.
I’m not saying that Rashard Lewis is going to take this team to a bottom playoff seed or anything. What I am saying is that I think it’s good for the development of Wall to have a legitimate, non-ball dominating player that can theoretically assist in the scoring department and knock down shots from the outside. As I mentioned, the Wizards aren’t going to be winning too many championships in the next couple of years so I don’t think taking back the 3 years and $20 plus million each year left on Rashard Lewis’ contract is much of a concern.
For the Orlando Magic, their team looks to have reached its plateau and was in need of a change. Stan Van Gundy always seems under fire, but I guess the other option of change also presented itself. The Magic could quite possibly have added that little extra something that has been lacking since Vince Carter arrived last season. The Magic were not going to win a championship with their current roster and taking this risk should be for the best…right?
I think it was for the best for the Magic that they were able to get rid of Rashard Lewis, as well as Lewis himself, who has been in need of a change of scenery. He is currently averaging the lowest numbers of his career since his sophomore season.
Vince Carter did not play like the dynamic, isolation scorer that he has been in the past and that they hoped he would be. ,You add that to the fact that most of the time he looks like the same disinterested, talent can mask my effort kind of player and it was an easy decision for the Magic to realize he is not the guy to help lead them to the promised land.
This is the type of deal that could make General Manager Otis Smith the smartest man in the NBA or the biggest chump in the NBA.
Starting with the more minor part of this deal, the Magic were able to get Jason Richardson from the Suns who probably fills the loss Mickael Pietrus’, but I also feel he could do as good a job or an even better job than Vince Carter did starting in that 3 spot. Richardson knocks down shots, plays hard defence, is great in transition and maybe most importantly gives 100% effort on a night-to-night basis, something Vince Carter clearly did not.
Just saying his name makes me cringe but Hedo Turkoglu is going back to where it all the magic started (get it?). Turkoglu became an NBA fans household name with his highly overrated clutch play. He signed a big contract with Toronto, sat on his lazy, fat ass and was dealt to Phoenix in the offseason which did not work out as well, which I predicted.
However, if there is a situation that would work out for Turkoglu it is in Orlando. The fans actually like the guy as he is not known for being a lazy, fat ass and it could possibly shift his sorry self out of neutral gear.
Turkoglu is once again in a situation where he is comfortable and knows what is expected of him, which should help him out as he couldn’t carve out his niche in Toronto or Phoenix. Turkoglu is taking more 3’s than 2’s and is shooting a high percentage from beyond the arc, which should be a big help to the Magic as well.
The issues with him though are his lack of effort because he won’t be playing for another contract for a few years and the fact that he is getting a little older could also be contributing to his seemingly declining play.
The last and most important piece of this blockbuster deal for the Magic is taking on Gilbert Arenas. This is a big risk but it also entails big rewards if Arenas can get back to that thrilling, franchise-player level that we saw in Washington that seems like an eternity ago.
For a guy with attitude problems, moving to a contender for the first time in his career might be the jump-start that he needs to rejuvenate himself. The Magic have a very solid team so Gilbert is not going to be forced to carry the Magic and if he can just take some heat off of Dwight Howard this might be a team to be reckoned with in the playoffs.
The Suns also did a hell of a job in getting something out of this deal, at least in my humble opinion.
They were obviously looking to deal Turkoglu as he was no more than a pure 3 point shooter in Phoenix and they were able to get a couple good pieces in return.
The Magic gave up Marcin Gortat, who has been under utilized in Orlando playing behind Dwight Howard. However, Gortat could be a legitimate starting center on a number of teams in the NBA and the Suns are very thin up front. The Suns could now bring Robin Lopez or Gortat off the bench and give some extra punch to the front end of the second unit.
The Suns are also able to replace Jason Richardson with Vince Carter/Mickael Pietrus. Vince Carter is most likely going to be the starter, but honestly I don’t see him being too much help to the Suns. Carter’s play is declining with his age and he can’t be too happy about moving to another franchise on the down slope of things. Although, you never know what Steve Nash can do with players, so we can’t count Carter out completely, and it can’t be any worse than the ridiculously stupid Hedo Turkoglu experiment.
Mickael Pietrus is pretty much just a cheaper, less dynamic player than Jason Richardson, but I think he also could add something to the Suns.
If Vince Carter is able to bring a bit more game than we saw in Orlando, I think this trade makes the Suns a better team as well relative to where they were at the start of the season. They added a good piece on the front end, and even though they lost Jason Richardson, they get back two pieces that each could fill his role.
Oh yeah, nothing wrong with a first round pick either, even if it is going to most likely be a mid-late round choice from Orlando.
I think that no matter the outcome of this trade, each team did the best they could given their respective circumstances.
In a deal filled with disappointment players, each team was able to gain/get rid of pieces that should improve their franchise right now and in the future.
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