- Magic traded away Rashard Lewis to the Wizards and received Gilbert Arenas.
- Magic traded away Vince Carter, Mikael Pietrus, Marcin Gortat, 2011 first round pick, $3 million to the Suns and received Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, Earl Clark.
First things first, I feel really happy for Marcin Gortat. He was stuck in bench purgatory behind Dwight Howard and may actually get some meaningful minutes in Phoenix behind or maybe starting in place of Robin Lopez.
Let's deal with what the Suns were trying to do with this trade:
Hedo Turkoglu for the most part this season was the Suns' starting power forward. Turk is a natural SF/SG and going against the top PFs in the league wasn't getting it done. He also has a horrible horrible contract, paying him $10-12 million per year for the next four years (He'll be turning 32 in March). Jason Richardson is currently in the last year of his deal that pays about $15 million. He was having a solid career in Phoenix. Why didn't the Suns want to re-sign him? Because the Suns are officially in rebuild mode after Amare Stoudemire left this summer for New York. With no scoring all star quality big man, and a replacement of Hedo Turkoglu, the Suns said forget this, let's start over.
So they unloaded Hedo's horrible contract and Vince Carter's expiring contract ($17 million this year and a TEAM option of $18 million next year, which more than likely they will not use, making Vince a free agent). They also got Mikael Pietrus who is getting paid $5 million and has a player option of $5 million next year, which if he takes up, is still better than paying Hedo $11 million. And Marcin Gortat who is getting paid $6 to $7 million for the next four years.
Numbers aside and in plain English, they saved themselves millions of dollars for the next 4 years. They can now start rebuilding a team that may or may not include Steve Nash who is on contract for this season and next season before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
What were the Wizards trying to do in their trade with the Magic:
Well this summer, they drafted John Wall with the number 1 pick AND traded for PG/SG Kirk Hinrich when they already had gun slinger PG Gilbert Arenas. Their current forward situation wasn't anything to brag about either. They were starting Al Thornton and Andray Blatche. So simply enough, they got rid of a Gilbert who had worn out his welcome and had a horrible contract that he never even close to lived up to for a power forward who can shoot the three, but also has a horrible over paid contract. Now John Wall can fully take over this Wizards team and have a power forward who can stretch the floor on offense.
And just FYI, Rashard Lewis is getting paid $20, $22, $23 million for this and the next two seasons. Gilbert Arenas is getting paid $17, $20, player option $20, $22 million for this and the next three seasons. This is a good trade for the Wizards. And here's to a safer locker room, cheers!
Finally, the Magic:
I've written a lot about the Magic and their bad decisions, and this is no different. They got rid of Rashard Lewis who had a bad contract, yes, but in exchange they get Gilbert Arenas who has an even worse contract for longer years. when they already have an all star (granted it was an injury fill in all star) quality point guard in Jameer Nelson!? If Gil comes off the bench, that's gotta be a record of highest paid bench player in the history of sports. And if he starts over Jameer Nelson, well that's gonna be one disgruntled bench player. So I guess they'll start them both, since Vince Carter was playing the shooting guard position.
But will Jason Richardson then come off the bench? Jason Richardson can play the small forward spot. But what about Brandon Bass and Hedo Turkoglu? Who is this team's power forward? If they play Hedo at the 4 spot, Dwight Howard is gonna have a lot of help defense on his shoulders. Hedo got torched in Phoenix by PFs, let's see if the trend continues in Orlando.
PG - Jameer Nelson / Chris Duhon
SG - Gilbert Arenas / JJ Reddick
SF - Jason Richardson / Hedo Turkoglu
PF - Brandon Bass / Ryan Anderson
C - Dwight Howard / Earl Clark
Don't get me wrong, that's a lot of offensive power right there. But it's undersized defensively and quite frankly, NOT GOOD defensively, outside of Dwight Howard. We'll definitely see if this is enough to keep Dwight Howard happy. I will say this though. I think the addition of Hedo Turkoglu will help. He's another option who can run the point position on some plays to maybe take advantage of some other small forwards around the league. That is my bold position. He's played in this system before, he can pick it up where he left off.