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The Orlando Magic traded for Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu in a set of blockbusters with the Washington Wizards and Phoenix Suns. But one of the three new big-name Magic players may end up coming off the bench.
Stan Van Gundy has announced that Jameer Nelson, the lead ballhandler and starting point guard for Orlando's recent run of success, will remain the starter at the position. As Richardson is a rather true shooting guard, that leaves Arenas looking at a likely sixth man role. Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse reports that Gil is ready to embrace the role.
"We haven't discussed it (his role) yet, but I was coming off the bench in Washington (for seven of his 21 games). I can do it here," he said. "I'm here to score and make plays for others. It's easy. If you have an open shot, you take it. If not, pass it to Dwight (Howard)."
Evan Dunlap of SB Nation's Magic blog Orlando Pinstriped Post writes that Orlando's bench needs a player as aggressive as Gil.
Orlando's bench sure could use the offensive punch. Prior to this deal, J.J. Redick was the second unit's only reliable scorer. Arenas going one-on-one, with Redick, Quentin Richardson, and Ryan Anderson spreading the floor around him, could yield solid results. Further, Arenas will take minutes from the unproductive backup point guard combination of Chris Duhon and Jason Williams, which one must view as a net positive for Orlando.
If shot-creation is the Magic's biggest offensive issue--and that's a defensible position, I believe--then Arenas certainly fixes it; no one's ever accused Arenas of lacking aggression. The issue is refining his ability to get shots off, eliminating the bad ones and maximizing the good ones. The fewer off-balance 20-footers he forces up, the better.
Depending on how Turkoglu works out as the team's assumed new starting small forward, Van Gundy could shift to a smaller line-up featuring Nelson and Arenas in the backcourt and Richardson at small forward. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Turkoglu play power forward, either, given Van Gundy's proclivity for playing shooters at the position. Turkoglu isn't a great shooter, but he has the size to at least be worth a try there, if other incarnations don't click.
Regardless of how the rotation shakes out right now, the Magic will have to decide how to approach the backcourt's future. Richardson will be an unrestricted free agent as season's end (as Vince Carter would also have been), and if Orlando does not choose to retain him or find another starting two-guard in free agency, Arenas or J.J. Redick could end up in the starting five with Nelson.
The Orlando Magic will actually cut payroll by $11.4 million through next season with today's massive trades bringing Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu to town in exchange for Vince Carter, Rashard Lewis and Marcin Gortat. But by 2013, the bill for Arenas and Turkoglu will come due.
The Magic will save $4.5 million in salary this season from the trades with the Washington Wizards and Phoenix Suns. Those savings will be matched with a decrease in Orlando's inevitable luxury tax bill, meaning Magic owner Rick DeVos will save $9 million in payroll this season.
The savings are greater in 2011-12, when Richardson falls off the book. The Magic will be left paying $30.3 million for Arenas and Turkoglu, but will have trimmed $37.2 million in salary, assuming Phoenix waives Carter (which would cost them $4 million but save them his scheduled $18 million salary). That results in $6.9 million in salary savings for the Magic; one would assume they'll be over the luxury tax, should the luxury tax still be in place in the new collective bargaining agreement.
But things change in 2012-13. The Magic have added $32.6 million to that season's payroll, while excising $24.4 million. In 2013-14, once Lewis' deal has ended, the Magic will have added $34.3 million while excising just Gortat's $7.7 million.
Certainly, the Magic wanted to shake things up and swing for the fences. Luckily, their bill won't come due for a while, and the team can keep trying to find the right mix around superstar center Dwight Howard until then.
Meanwhile, the Suns are surprisingly not immediate saving money in the deal. They agreed to take back Mickael Pietrus along with Carter and Gortat, and that means the Suns' payroll will actually increase $2.6 million due to this deal. However, the Magic have reportedly sent Phoenix enough cash to cover the difference. Teams can include up to $3 million in trades.
But the extra salary for Phoenix continues next season, as the Suns' 2011-12 payroll increases by $5.1 million, assuming Carter is waived (as expected). Savings due to Turkoglu's large deal being excised would begin to kick in 2012-13, with the Suns saving $4.6 million. In 2013-14, the Suns will save $4.3 million by losing Turkoglu's deal and only being on the hook for Gortat's $7.7 million salary.
Washington's salary ramifications are simple, as Lewis is paid more than Arenas but for a shorter term. The Wizards take on an extra $1.9 million this season and an extra $1.8 million next season. The salary shake-out in 2012-13 depends on whether Lewis is waived, and if not, what incentives he meets. But the swing is not dramatic: the Wizards could save $3 million or spend an extra $2 million over what they would have paid Arenas. The real savings come in 2013-14, once Lewis' deal has ended while Arenas is still on the books for $22.3 million.
For more trade analysis, follow our StoryStream.
All parts of today's two blockbuster Orlando Magic trades have been made official. Orlando's deal sending Rashard Lewis to the Washington Wizards for GIlbert Arenas was made official by the NBA earlier. Since then, Orlando's trade sending Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, Mickael Pietrus, cash and a first-round pick to the Phoenix Suns for Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and Earl Clark has been made official.
The deal shakes up a team expected to vie for the a trip to the NBA Finals in the Magic, who lost to the Lakers in the 2009 Finals but were vanquished in the East finals by the Boston Celtics last season. The Magic get a top scorer with an expiring contract in Richardson, and a familiar face who can be a playmaker at small forward in Turkoglu. Clark, a second-year player with an expiring contract, likely won't play much, but has promise as a playmaking forward.
The Suns similarly shake things up, with a big win in grabbing Gortat, the best back-up center in the NBA and a solid pick-and-roll player. Losing Richardson, Phoenix's top scorer, will require Steve Nash to look for his shot more often and will require Carter to play hard every night for the Suns to have a chance at playoff success.
The pick Phoenix has received from Orlando won't be worth too much, unless the Magic's experiment goes terribly wrong.
Gilbert Arenas has been traded to the Orlando Magic, along with Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark in a mammoth deal that also sends Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus to the Phoenix Suns and Rashard Lewis to the Washington Wizards. The Arenas-Lewis portion of the deal has been confirmed as official.
The swap is certainly the biggest trade of the season to date, and might qualify as one of the more surprising and massive (in terms of salary) in recent years. The Magic see the biggest shake-up, sending away two of their top four scorers in Lewis and Carter, and replacing them with two prolific scorers in Arenas and Richardson and a playmaker very familiar with Stan Van Gundy's system in Turkoglu.
The Magic are just 16-9 on the season, five games behind the Boston Celtics for the No. 1 seed in the East. The Celtics knocked Orlando out 4-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals last season, and this year's slow start had the front office looking for a jolt of energy. This trade certainly provides a jolt.
Phoenix also sees a drastic makeover, with its leading scorer being replaced by a rental well into his 30s in Carter. Carter is on the books for $18 million next season, but if the Suns waive him before June 30, 2011, they only have to pay him $4 million. Gortat should be an instant starter and grand pick-and-roll partner for Steve Nash, not to mention a huge defensive upgrade over Robin Lopez and Channing Frye.
The Wizards have long needed a good small forward, and Lewis can fill that role, albeit at a too-high pricetag.
Follow this StoryStream for more news and analysis on the big trade.
Saturday's reported three-way deal between the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, and Washington Wizards can rightly be described as a blockbuster. With several stars and large assets heading in different directions, things have grown somewhat confusing. Here's a complete breakdown of what, according to the latest reports, each team will receive.
Jason Richardson from Suns
Hedo Turkoglu from Suns
Earl Clark from Suns
Gilbert Arenas from Wizards
Rashard Lewis from Magic
Vince Carter from Magic
Marcin Gortat from Magic
Mickael Pietrus from Magic
2011 first-round pick from Magic
$3 million in cash from Magic
These moves are according to reports from Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski and ESPN's Chris Broussard. Our own blogs have immediately weighed in on this trade. First, from our own Orlando Pinstriped Post, which first broke the Arenas-to-Magic possibility:
[Richardson] strikes me as the most significant player in this trade from Orlando's perspective, as his ability to knock down open three-pointers and elevate for jump shots off the dribble should boost its weak offense.
[...] The bigger draw, from a narrative perspective, is Turkoglu's return to Orlando. The Magic acquired Carter following their 2009 NBA Finals run ostensibly to upgrade Turkoglu's spot on that team, with Turkoglu departing in free agency a few weeks later. When viewed this way, the Magic had a second chance to choose between Carter and Turkoglu, and this time they sided with Turkoglu.
Arenas was the Wizards' franchise player, but he seemed unhappy in Washington in recent times, and at this point the team is likely happy to be relieved of his salary. Our Wizards blog, Bullets Forever, takes a look at Rashard Lewis, the player they'll receive in return:
Lewis has two years left after this year on a maximum contract signed in the summer of 2007. He is scheduled to make $21.1 million in 2011/12 and $22.7 million in 2012/13. However, Lewis' salary is only initially for $10 million in that final year and only escalates if he meets performance incentives, according to Sham Sports. Arenas has three years and $62 million left on his deal after this year. At best, the Wizards will save about $31 million over the course of the contract. At worst, they will save around $18 million. However, they won't get anything else back in the trade.
If this trade goes final as reported, the Suns will walk off with a lot of pieces. Our Suns blog, Bright Side of the Sun, is not terribly excited.
Well folks, it looks like a done deal. Welcome the Polish Hammer,along with Vince "My Knee Hurts" Carter. So long - you've been fantastic. Hedo, we hardly got to know you and don't fully blame you for not fitting on this team.
[...] Essentially, theare sacrificing this season to get Marcin Gortat and perhaps one more year of along with a Orlando's first round pick which will be in the mid-to-late 20's.
This mammoth trade is not yet official, but with so many sources reporting it, it certainly begs attention. Follow along with this StoryStream, which we'll be updating when we learn more.
As trade talks between the Magic and Wizards have heated up in recent days, the Phoenix Suns have emerged as a third player. According to a source cited by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Magic are moving to trade away Vince Carter, Mikhael Pietrus, Marcin Gortat, a draft pick, and cash to the Suns, and are set to receive Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, and Earl Clark in return.
Orlando will send PHX Carter, Gortat, Pietrus, a 1st round pick and $3 million for Richardson, Hedo and Earl Clark, source tells Y! Sports.
Wojnarowski notes that this appears to be a precursor for a trade with the Wizards involving Gilbert Arenas...
The Magic will surround Dwight Howard with Arenas, Hedo and Jason Richardson as they try to make themselves title contenders again.
...but this trade is certainly a large one by its own right. So far this season, Richardson has ranked second on the Suns with 19.7 points per game. Carter, meanwhile, is still a big name who has scored 16.9 per game this season.
The Magic are off to a 16-9 start in 2010-11. Complementing their centerpiece, Dwight Howard, with Jason Richardson, would make for a formidable 1-2 punch on both sides of the ball. And if they can complete the puzzle and bring Gilbert Arenas to Orlando, well, it would make for the most dramatic roster change outside of Miami.
Antonio Gonzalez of the Associated Press reports that Smith has confirmed that the Magic have discussed a trade to bring Arenas to Orlando this week, but said that nothing is imminent. SB Nation blog Orlando Pinstriped Post first reported the possibility of a Gilbert Arenas trade back on Dec. 1.
Smith said that while the talks are serious, nothing is imminent.
Back in early December, Smith denied current talks with the Wizards centering on Arenas. At that point, Smith said that he had last talked to the Wizards about Arenas in June. The pair -- Smith and Arenas -- have a relationship dating back to their days with the Golden State Warriors, where Smith was an assistant general manager and Arenas an upstart star-in-the-making out of the second round. Smith has served as a mentor to Arenas in the years since.
The Magic would apparently give up either Rashard Lewis or Vince Carter to make salaries match. The Suns have also been rumored to be involved, with Hedo Turkoglu potentially returning to the Magic, where he helped lead the team to the 2009 NBA Finals.
Hedo Turkoglu could return to the Orlando Magic as a part of a massive three-team trade that would also send Gilbert Arenas to Orlando and Vince Carter, Rashard Lewis or both out of town, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports. It is unclear what the Washington Wizards or Phoenix Suns would receive in the trade, though Berger reports that Magic center Marcin Gortat would definitely change addresses. Due to the huge salaries of Arenas and Turkoglu, it would appear likely that the Magic would need to lose both Lewis and Carter.
SB Nation blog Orlando Pinstriped Post first reported that the Magic were interested in a Gilbert Arenas trade back on Dec. 1. The rumor cooled down until Friday, when OPP and other outlets began to report that a Magic and Wizards trade was imminent.
Turkoglu, who helped lead the Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals before signing a five-year, $52.8 million contract with the Raptors, was traded to the Suns this offseason as Toronto tried to escape from a mistake. Apparently and not surprisingly, the Suns are now in the same position of wanting to excise Turkoglu from the payroll. Hedo was successful in Orlando and played the best basketball of his career in a Magic jersey. But his performance had fallen off by 2009 (despite the deep playoff run), and Orlando demurred on a big long-term contract for a reason.
What the Suns would receive in such a trade remains unclear, though Gortat, perhaps the best back-up center in the NBA, would make perfect sense given Phoenix's defensive void at the position. A report from OPP late Friday has Rashard Lewis traded in a potential Arenas deal; the Magic have a few players with smaller contracts that could allow a deal to go through involving just Turkoglu, Arenas, Lewis and Gortat as the principal talents of note.
Rashard Lewis could be headed to the Washington Wizards in a trade that would send Gilbert Arenas to the Orlando Magic, reports SB Nation blog Orlando Pinstriped Post. The rumored deal was previously thought to include Vince Carter, who has a similarly large contract for this season, but has the benefit of an expiring deal. (Carter has a team option worth $18.3 million for 2011-12, but only $4 million of that is guaranteed, and the rest can be erased if Carter is waived by June 30, 2011, according to ShamSports.)
Lewis has $31-43 million guaranteed over the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, depending on whether he meets performance benchmarks. The Magic would have steep financial difficulties if Lewis were kept and Arenas were acquired, as the Wizard guard is guaranteed $62 million through 2013-14. Between them, Lewis, Arenas and Dwight Howard would make a combined $58 million next season. The luxury tax threshold this season is around $70 million, and that's expected to fall in the next collective bargaining agreement.
The motive for such moves appears to be Dwight Howard's unhappiness with the team's lack of progress as the Magic finish up the first 25 games of the season at 16-9, 2-1/2 games behind the Miami Heat in the Southeast Division and five games behind Boston for the East's all-important No. 1 seed. Orlando was 19-6 a year ago.
A report from Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, that the Wizards are not content to trade Arenas for cap relief only, would back up the Lewis rumor. While it seems unbelievable that the Wizards could actually demand more than cap relief for Arenas' sour deal, the Magic seem to be just that desperate.
Weeks ago, our Magic blog, Orlando Pinstriped Post, reported that the team was in talks to acquire the Washington Wizards' Gilbert Arenas. The noise died down on the story until Friday, when multiple sources reported that a trade between the Wizards and Magic, with or without Arenas, could go down as soon as Saturday. From Orlando Pinstriped Post:
A reliable source has indicated to Orlando Pinstriped Post that the Orlando Magic could make a trade using "major pieces" as soon as tomorrow, pegging the chances of such a deal occurring at "70-to-80, almost 90 percent." This news comes shortly after Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported the Magic and Washington Wizards have moved close to a trade that would send Wizards shooting guard Gilbert Arenas to Orlando, likely in return for Vince Carter and a combination of "longer-term contracts" including backup center Marcin Gortat.
On-court, Arenas has shown frustration as of late, having earned a technical and committed a bad foul near the end of the Wizards' loss to the Spurs on Thursday night. Over at Bullets Forever, Mike Prada says that while he loves Gil, trading him away could be for the best at this point.
Meanwhile, Orlando Pinstriped Post dwells on Arenas' potential value for the Magic:
Indeed, concerns abound about Arenas' fit with the current Magic club, given his inefficient offense, well-documented inattentiveness on defense, and his contract.
[...] On the other hand, Arenas has still shown he can get a shot off. Perhaps too well. But on an Orlando team with a stagnant, unimpressive offense so far this season, Arenas could provide a perimeter scoring option, though I contend that Carter is still better suited for that task than Arenas.
Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith has joined Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis in denying that the teams are considering a trade to send Gilbert Arenas south.
Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel quotes Smith as saying that he hasn't discussed a trade with the Wizards since June, and that even then it didn't involve Arenas. Smith's ties stem to when both were employees of the Golden State Warriors, where Smith worked in a front office that took Arenas in the second round in the 2001 NBA Draft. Since Arenas fell out of favor in Washington, the Magic has seemed a reasonable landing place, both because of Gil's relationship and Smith and his penchant for explosive scoring, some Orlando is seen as needing.
Whether Arenas will be traded anytime soon remains a huge question, given the $60 million remaining on his contract. Gil has played in 14 of the Wizards' 17 games this season, and while his shooting percentages are rough (.381 from the field, .365 on three-pointers) he has shown his signature penchant for feast-or-famine explosivity: he has two 30-point plus games (one against the Magic), and four games with less than 10 points.
It looked like Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas might soon be on his way out of Washington D.C. after SB Nation's Orlando Magic blog Orlando Pinstriped Post reported that the Magic were having ongoing discussions about acquiring Arenas. However, Wizards owner Ted Leonsis denied that report to Michael Lee of the Washington Post:
Leonsis wrote in an e-mail, "It isn't true. I wouldn't tell you if it was true but I am telling you that it is not true."
Leonsis praised Arenas and said he wants him to remain on the team.
The team is trying to rebuild and Gilbert is one of the leaders on the team," Leonsis wrote. "Gilbert is the best player on the team right now."
He added, "The team is focused on getting healthy and playing better basketball."
Lee also reports that while the two teams had talks over the summer that aren't totally dead, the Magic are unwilling to take on Arenas' big salary at this time.
It's important to note that Leonsis denial does not mean the discussions never happened. It just means that a trade isn't imminent. It's possible discussions get rekindled at some point, and it's equally possible that they never do. All we know for sure is that Arenas is not going to be traded to the Orlando Magic anytime soon.
The old adage in the NBA is that any player can be traded, no matter their contract, injury-history or emotional instability. Gilbert Arenas is the ultimate test of that theory, due to his massive contract, his injury concerns and his recent 50-game suspension for bringing guns into the Wizards locker room.
But apparently, there is a suitor. Evan Dunlap of SB Nation's Magic blog Orlando Pinstriped Post is reporting that the Orlando Magic are "in an ongoing trade dialogue" with the Wizards to potentially send Arenas to Orlando.
The Orlando Magic have engaged the Washington Wizards in an ongoing trade dialog centered around Wizards shooting guard Gilbert Arenas, Orlando Pinstriped Post has learned. What Orlando would send Washington in return for the three-time All-Star is less clear, but the proposed deal likely includes shooting guard Vince Carter, according to a source. Wizards big man Andray Blatche, Magic forward Rashard Lewis, and Magic center Daniel Orton could also be involved.
Dunlap reports that it's "unclear" what factors are holding up the trade, and that it's "likely" that Arenas is the primary target of Magic general manager Otis Smith. The two have a history together from their days in Golden State, and Arenas admitted he confided in Smith after getting suspended last season.
Arenas has three more years left after this season on a six-year, $111 million contract he signed in 2008. Lewis has two more years left after this season on a six-year, $125 million contract he signed in 2007. Carter has a partially-guaranteed contract for $4 million in 2011/12, while Blatche just signed a five-year, $35 million extension this summer.
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