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Magic talking trade for Gilbert Arenas; Wizards deny it

Dec 1, 2010, 5:18 PM EDT


UPDATE 5:18 pm: Wizards owner Ted Leonis shot down this trade rumor, telling the Washington Post that there was no truth to it.

“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…. It isn’t true. I wouldn’t tell you if it was true but I am telling you that it is not true.”

Leonsis has been a very public supporter of Arenas and has said he is one of the future building blocks of the franchise. Eventually an offer may well come along to change that thinking, but this one likely is not it.

2:12 pm: The Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards are discussing a trade that would bring Gilbert Arenas to Florida, according to the reliable Orlando Pinstriped Post.

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. Both teams have a mutual understanding of what the trade might include, the source says, and it’s unclear what factors are holding up the trade. What is clear around the league, however, is that Magic President of Basketball Operations Otis Smith has his eye on Arenas. If Orlando is to make a major trade this season, Arenas will likely be the target.

That the Magic are still looking for a move that will put them over the top of Boston, Los Angeles and — theoretically — Miami was reported earlier this week.

Still, this seems like a bit of a longshot.

First and foremost, Gilbert Arenas brings a major price tag — he makes nearly $18 million this season and has three years, $61 million left after this season on his deal (if he picks up his player option, which he will). Carter can be a cost savings (which is why Washington would love this deal), Carter is scheduled to make almost the same as Arenas next year but the deal can be bought out for $4 million. With Arenas, you are on the hook for all of it.

The other question becomes — are you really getting an upgrade? Compare this season’s stats from Arenas and Carter and you see very similar production (to sum up, Carter’s PER is 15.8, Arenas 15.7). I get Orlando may be thinking Carter can’t be the secondary playmaker and creator they need — but do they really think Arenas can be that guy?

Still, the talk is out there.

  1. 8dollarbeer - Dec 1, 2010 at 2:21 PM

    Trading one joker for another.. neither team gets better.

  2. Filipe Furtado - Dec 1, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    Also if Magic don’t dump Lewis on the deal, they wuld now own 2 of the 5 worst contracts on the league. Ugh.

  3. downtowndanny - Dec 1, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    whatever Gil is off the court, or at the gun range is his business, but on the court he’s a proven veteran that will produce immediately for the Magic, Vinsanity has had his day, injury has pretty much finished him off, that and lack of heart in crunch time. It was pretty obvious that the wizards were showcasing Gil during Walls “injury”. If this happens, Orlando only adds to their lineup of veterans. If they can package lewis off in the deal too, they should throw a parade, he can’t even underachieve right…

  4. passerby23 - Dec 1, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    The goal is to win a championship. I’ve been of the mind since they signed Vince Carter that their current roster will not win them a championship. What Orlando lacks is leadership, toughness, and a perimeter playmaker that Vince was supposed to be.

    Arenas’ off-court struggles and huge contract are not the most attractive in the world, but what you do get is a volume scorer who attacks the rim and is not afraid of taking big shots in crunch time. When the games matter most, where have Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter been? Silent. If I’m Orlando, I pull the trigger on this.

  5. goforthanddie - Dec 2, 2010 at 1:23 PM

    Arenas is wasted on the Wiz. They’re not competing any time soon, it would make sense to get out from under his contract.

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