Well, you gotta give the Magic credit for going big. We all knew they had the best roster to organize a big trade to reshape a roster that maybe might not be good enough to match Boston and Miami in the East. Marcin Gortat, arguably one of the 10 best centers in the game, was BACKING UP Dwight Howard, while Vince Carter’s partially guaranteed 2012 salary made him a very attractive chip too. So they took their two major chips and turned them into … the two worst contracts in the NBA?? What??
Gilbert Arenas has shown signs of being a good player again. He is a bit more creative than other perimeter options, as is Hedo Turkoglu. Indeed, the lack of perimeter creativity is what the Magic wanted to fix. But is Arenas better than Jameer Nelson, now, in 2010 – at THAT price? Turkoglu has sucked donkey balls the last two stops – why should that change here? There is a lot of money being spent here and a lot of tilting at windmills.
Of course, the deal also brings back Jason Richardson and Earl Clark from the Suns. Earl Clark is a project, but has some talent – but frankly has been a bust so far as a lottery guy. Richardson is a poor defender, but can really fill it up. His shooting is a great fit with the Magic 3-point gunning, but he does not solve the creativity gap on the perimeter either.
For the Wizards this move was a no-brainer. Considering the size of Arenas’ deal, any trade made would be a mistake for mistake exchange. The Wizards, without having to give away a draft choice – got a less onerous mistake in Rashard Lewis. So this is an obvious fit – and it commits them fully to John Wall, which was the sensible thing to do anyhoo.
For the Suns, this is a strong move. Gortat gives them some beef they desperately needed, considering how putrid their defense and rebounding are. He and Robin Lopez make a pretty good center combination. Mikael Pietrus is a guy with some talent, but is relatively throw-in like. Vince Carter is at least as good as Jason Richardson. Hedo Turkoglu was useless to them, so his departure is great contractually. This move makes their roster more sensible while adding a first round pick – and Vince Carter is very much moveable if that tickles their fancy.
Ultimately, the headlines will be about Orlando re-shaping their team, but it is hard to see where the true marginal gain is. This feels like re-arranging deck chairs to sate the talk show calling hordes.