NBA Roundtable

Orlando Acquires Hedo + J-Rich + Arenas

In Trade Talk on December 18, 2010 at 3:48 pm

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.


Orlando Magic

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.

The Departed

  • 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.

Gilbert Arenas

  • 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?

Rashard Lewis

  • 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).

Brandon Bass

  • 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.

Earl Clark

  • 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

  • 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.

Best Team?

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?

Phoenix Suns

  • 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.

Washington Wizards

  • 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.


The Magic

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.
  1. Stan Van Gundy interview on the trades – link

    A couple of notes:

    (1) SVG doesn’t say a lot of interest … but he does say that at least one of Jameer, Arenas, J-Rich and Hedo will come off the bench.

    (2) SVG doesn’t want to play Hedo as a power forward. At least not initially. He will use him there in certain situations, against smaller teams.

    (3) SVG – “Of the four guys who will come off the bench, it will not be Jameer”. It’ll be one of the other three guys. So Jameer is the starting PG. In that case, I think Gilbert should be the guy to come off the bench.

    (4) They will be bulkier up front than in the past because they won’t be playing Rashard at the four anymore. Is concerned about the nights where Dwight has foul trouble or an injury due to the lack of a backup center … but on nights where he isn’t, he thinks the rotation will be fine with Dwight, Bass, Ryan and Malik Allen.

  2. Hey man, great post I’m defs glad I took the time out to read it. Anyways, I was just shocked to see this big blockbuster trade go through and it just makes the NBA season that much more exciting. Hedo Turkoglu going back to the magic with Gilbert along with J-Rich. The Magic really needed a shakeup and I think it will be good for them. Actually, I think it works out pretty decently for all the teams. They seemed to have gotten what they wanted, or gotten rid of what they didn’t want for that matter lol. Also, you think you could check out my blog, cuz I really wanna hear what you have to say.

  3. Dave,


    A great trade for the Washington Wizards.

    A great trade for the Phoenix Suns.

    An horrific trade for the Orlando Magic … unless, somehow, Otis Smith can put a third trade together to unload some of the excess baggage on his roster, at the OG and SF positions, while adding a legitimate Back-up Big Man.

  4. Hey Chris Ross, thanks for the comments

    Hey Khandor, agreed on all counts.

  5. Per ESPN

    One aspect of the Magic’s trade with Phoenix that hasn’t been discussed much: Orlando did create a trade exception worth $6.3 million that it can use to take on additional salary in deals through Dec. 19, 2011.

    Whether the Magic actually use that trade exception with such a high payroll already remains to be seen, but they did also save more than $4 million in luxury-tax payments after their two trades, dropping from $24,019,804 over the tax threshold to $19,591,145.

    The Wizards, meanwhile, did have to take on a little extra money this season for the right to exile Arenas and reinforce John Wall as the new face of the franchise, going from $442,929 under the salary cap to $1.4 million over.

    That trade exception could be of great use to the Magic in filling out the rest of their supporting cast.

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