ESPN is reporting
The Orlando Magic, already in serious trade talks with the Washington Wizards about acquiring Gilbert Arenas, have agreed to a deal in principle with the Phoenix Suns, according to league sources.
The trade returns former Magic star Hedo Turkoglu, along with Jason Richardson and Earl Clark, to Orlando in exchange for Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, Mickael Pietrus, a 2011 first-round pick and cash considerations.
Orlando, losers of five of its last six games, is also close to acquiring Arenas for Rashard Lewis, sources said.
Update: The Gilbert Arenas trade went through
The Orlando Magic capped a blockbuster day of wheeling and dealing by trading one franchise cornerstone for another, sending Rashard Lewis to the Washington Wizards for Gilbert Arenas on Saturday.
Initial thought — I would be a lot more comfortable and confident about this trade if the Magic kept Rashard Lewis instead of trading for Arenas.
J-Rich and Hedo Turkoglu
- Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu will bring a lot more offensive punch to Orlando’s lineup.
- Marcin Gortat will leave a large hole behind. Orlando have nobody else who can provide his team defense, shot-blocking and rebounding while Dwight Howard rests. Their next option is either Malik Allen or Daniel Orton. They will have to make another move to replace him (likely using JJ Redick as bait).
- Mickael Pietrus was Orlando’s only high quality defender on the perimeter. They now have no stopper on the wing.
- Vince Carter has been capably replaced by Jason Richardson.
- Can Hedo Turkoglu function alongside Gilbert Arenas? Will he get enough touches offensively to be the high quality playmaker he is capable of being?
- How about Jason Richardson? His career has resuscitated while playing down in Phoenix alongside Steve Nash. Is this older version of Jason Richardson able to survive and be the efficient offensive threat without Nash’s playmaking? Is J-Rich still a good enough shot-creator to live with Arenas? Or will he, much like Vince Carter did, see his effectiveness drop harshly once he joins the Magic?
- How effective can Arenas be? Can he play passable defense? Can he still score the ball efficiently? How much have injuries robbed him?
- Lewis would be a fantastic complement offensively to the talents of Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu. That lineup along with Dwight Howard would be extremely difficult to defend against.
- It would also free up Brandon Bass to play the backup center role instead of resorting to playing Malik Allen there … at least until a suitable alternative can be found (which might not happen until next summer).
- If the Arenas trade goes through, Bass will have to be the backup five. He will also likely be the starting four. So we’ll likely see Bass play 6-7 minutes to start each half, then take a brief breather (3 mins), then check back in for Dwight and play center for the second unit. Then check out as Dwight re-enters and come back with 3-4 minutes remaining in the half. Which would give him 32-34 minutes a night.
- That would also give Ryan Anderson 26-28 minutes a night … or possibly a bit less if Orlando decided to play Hedo at the four alongside J-Rich, Q-Rich / Redick, Jameer and Dwight … every now and then.
- Nowhere near ready for prime time … third string power forward.
- If he gets it together defensively, Clark could be an interesting long term prospect for the Magic.
- Jameer Nelson has outplayed Arenas by a good margin this season
- Still, it’s hard to see Orlando starting Jameer ahead of Gilbert … so Jameer is likely to resume his role as a change of pace backup PG and main scoring threat off the bench. A role he played very well early in his career.
Can they start Jameer + Arenas?
Starters: Jameer + Arenas + J-Rich + Hedo + Dwight
I don’t like this lineup. Hedo can only be an impact player when he has a large number of touches offensively and I can’t see him getting those touches alongside all those offensive threats. Without those touches, Hedo at the four simply costs his team too much defensively and on the glass.
The Arenas and Jameer backcourt will also be very weak defensively and in terms of rebounding. They’d be more effective (consistently) when used against lesser offensive talents. In other words, against some reserves and in certain suitable matchups.
Arenas or Rashard? Vince, Gortat and Pietrus or Hedo and J-Rich? Or no move?
Starters: Jameer + J-Rich + Hedo + Bass + Dwight
Rotation: Arenas + Redick + Q-Rich + R.Anderson + Bass
Starters: Jameer + J-Rich + Hedo + Rashard + Dwight
Rotation: Duhon + Redick + Q-Rich + R.Anderson + Bass
Starters: Arenas + Vince + Pietrus + Bass + Dwight
Rotation: Jameer + Redick + Q-Rich + R.Anderson + Gortat
Starters: Jameer + Vince + Rashard + Bass + Dwight
Rotation: Jameer + Redick + Q-Rich/Pietrus + R.Anderson + Gortat
Which team is the best?
- Great deal for Phoenix
- They cut a load of salary by moving Hedo Turkoglu
- They picked up a top defensive wing in Mickael Pietrus and a very good center in Marcin Gortat. They should probably consider trading each player in separate deals to upgrade their assets elsewhere … since they already have Robin Lopez at center and because they need to collect as many assets as possible to further enable their rebuilding.
- The Suns are firmly rebuilding now … whether they want to admit it or not. They simply do not have enough top tier talent (or trade assets) around Steve Nash to build another contender with Nash at the helm.
- Getting rid of Gilbert Arenas is good
- Bringing in a legitimate wing player is good player
- Reducing their financial commitments — Rashard Lewis has one less season on his contract — is very good.
I would have liked the J-Rich and Turkoglu acquisitions if they had of kept Rashard Lewis. I am less optimistic about Turkoglu’s ability to be an impact player for the Magic with Gilbert Arenas also joining the team.
I would have liked the Gilbert Arenas trade more so than I do if they had of kept Gortat, Pietrus and Vince. Vince to J-Rich is largely a lateral move and, if Hedo is relegated to role player status, Gortat and Pietrus would have offered more to the team.
The two trades together. I don’t like the mix. Too many unlikely events have to go perfectly right for this to work out.
I am very intrigued to seeing this come together though … the Magic will be on must-see list for the next few weeks.
The Suns and Wizards
Phoenix did a very nice job of restructuring here and giving themselves a leg up on rebuilding.
A solid trade from Washington. They improved their team some and gained some cap flexibility in the future.
Final Note – Dwight Howard
- The odds of Dwight Howard leaving after his current contract expires just increased considerably.
- The Magic have little in the way of further trade assets so if this move does fail – and it likely will – they have few alternatives to change their roster in order to convince Dwight that he’ll have that title shot.
- Hence, Dwight Howard is more likely to leave Orlando than to stay once his current deal expires. So every team with cap space in 2012 should be gearing up for a run at Dwight Howard
- Keep an eye on the Boston Celtics and Rajon Rondo. 2012, Dwight Howard.
- Danny Ainge could pull it off … it’s lining up in a nice way … although it’ll be more about the poor decisions and failures of Otis Smith than any acquiring GM. That is where the credit/blame really lies.