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Orlando makes trades: sends Vince Carter and others to Phoenix, get Arenas from Washington

Dec 18, 2010, 3:31 PM EDT


Otis Smith just swung for the fences. We’ll see if he connects.

The Orlando Magic have traded Vince Carter, Mikael Pietrus, and Marcin Gortat to the Phoenix Suns for Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, a first-round pick and Earl Clark. The Magic have also traded Rashard Lewis to the Washington Wizards for Gilbert Arenas.

ESPN,, and Yahoo! Sports have all confirmed the deal.

Here’s how it breaks down:


Orlando wants to win now. Not for the next few years, not down the line, growing together like a bunch of young saplings. Now. Otis Smith has acquired a dynamic scorer and playmaker in Gilbert Arenas who is not shooting well this year (39%) but has a chance to get some space now that he’s in Orlando. They acquired a power driving dunk artist with prolific three-point range in Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu who is now old and not nearly the player he was two years ago, a first-round draft pick and Earl Clark, who will never see the floor, ever.

Gilbert Arenas has shown flashes of his scoring ability that made him so prolific four seasons ago. He managed to work reasonably well off-ball in Washington, and in Orlando will be granted license to run the offense. Jameer Nelson can work off-ball in conjunction with Arenas. How he’ll work with Dwight Howard will be a significant issue to keep an eye on. Arenas has never worked with a player like Howard before, and he’ll have to maintain the “it’s his team” attitude he had with Wall.

Richardson is the big win in this trade for Orlando. He’s averaging 19 points on 42% three-point shooting and he’ll get just as many open looks in Orlando. The question will be if he can play the kind of defense Stan Van Gundy will need him to and how he’ll fit in with the rotation. But Richardson is a clutch performer who has a history with Arenas in Golden State and should be thrilled to be going to a contender again.

Hedo Turkoglu is a no-lose option for the Magic. If he’s terrible, the team is deep enough not to worry about it. If he’s able to recapture anything close to what they had two years ago, they’ve got another great player to go to. His contract is long. So was Rashard Lewis’. And as we’ve seen today, no contract is unmovable.


The future is later. Despite Steve Nash still being Steve Nash, the Suns have moved towards the future. Vince Carter is an expiring contract, they acquired a first round pick to build with, and ditched Hedo Turkoglu’s contract. They’re obviously moving towards the future. You have to wonder if this is a capitulation by Robert Sarver to move towards saving money. Vince Carter may experience a resurgence in Phoenix as so many players have with their training staff. But in the end, he’s just not a very good player anymore and not a player you can depend on in key situations. Losing Turkoglu at least clears up their frontcourt rotation and will allow Hakim Warrick more minutes.  Phoenix looks towards the future.


The Arenas-Butler-Jamison era is finally washed away completely. Agent Zero is over. Rashard Lewis is a marginal player at this point with a massive contract, but now the team is John Wall’s, 100%. The Gilbert Arenas era is through. They’re a bad team and they just got worse. But they do save a slight bit of money and can try and take a new approach in order to move towards the Wall-led future. It was over before it started for the Arenas Show in Washington. You’ve got to move forward eventually. They chose now.

  1. zblott - Dec 18, 2010 at 4:29 PM

    How will all of these changes affect the Contender/Pretender status of Orlando?

  2. ericreives - Dec 18, 2010 at 5:50 PM

    I think the Magic have gotten worse. I’m probably in the minority but I believe that to be the case. The Magic cannot defend the perimeter now and Howard is not going to erase mistakes as some may claim. Denver showed that. The Magic have been losing to teams with a high offensive efficiency. There is reason for that and its the Magic’s perimeter defense. Carter was ok defensively, but Richardson is just plain bad, as is Gilbert Arenas. Throw Hedo Turkoglu in the mix as well. Yikes.

    • secdominance - Dec 18, 2010 at 6:14 PM

      the ESPN Trade Machine agrees

    • passerby23 - Dec 18, 2010 at 7:24 PM

      My view is that this COULD make them worse, but I’m banking on them slightly improving. I never liked the Vince acquisition. They needed to unload him. What was Rashard Lewis giving them? Not a whole lot.

      But, did Orlando get BETTER? Arenas will certainly give them better backcourt scoring and an ability to make big shots. J-Rich is an athletic player who is another lethal shooter. If Turkoglu can give them anything of value, then it’s probably a good trade. If he doesn’t, they probably stay about the same. But with Gortat and Lewis gone, is it just Howard and Bass left to bang with the bigs? What if Howard gets in foul trouble?

      Did it make them better than Boston, Miami or maybe even Chicago? I’m not sold on that.

  3. zblott - Dec 19, 2010 at 1:28 PM

    Complete rundown of how each team fared in the trades:

  4. downtowndanny - Dec 20, 2010 at 1:42 AM

    giving up Gortat was the only bad move for Orlando, no one really expects Hedo to contribute, do they? bringing in Gil and J Rich are definite pluses. Moving Lewis calls for a parade. It immediately becomes Dwight & Gil’s team. can they gel come playoff time? will the new guys step their defense up? does Chicago move up a notch in the east to battle Miami for the number 2 spot behind the green machine? this should get interesting now…

    • secdominance - Dec 20, 2010 at 10:27 AM

      I don’t know about a parade for getting rid of Lewis. They basically traded one bad contract for a worse contract.

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