Blog Entry

Magic getting Arenas, Turkoglu in blockbuster

Posted on: December 18, 2010 2:57 pm
Edited on: December 18, 2010 5:32 pm
In a blockbuster trade that changes the complexion of the Eastern Conference, the Magic are getting Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson from the Suns and Gilbert Arenas from the Wizards, league sources confirmed to

The Suns send Turkoglu back to Orlando, where he thrived, along with Richardson and Earl Clark for Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus. Orlando also sends a 2011 first-round pick and cash to Phoenix and acquires Arenas from Washington for Rashard Lewis, the sources said.

It is a swing-for-the-fences for Orlando, which came under immense pressure to make a big trade while losing five of its last six games and taking an obvious back seat to Boston and Miami in the East. Turkoglu, who struggled in stints with Toronto and Phoenix, returns to Orlando -- where he was a key piece in Magic's run to the 2009 NBA Finals.

Arenas is the bigger name, but the key to the deal could be Richardson, a perimeter sniper who fits the Magic's style and gives them a clutch scorer and big-time shooter to further space the floor for Dwight Howard.

The Rockets tried to get into the mix for Gortat, whom they've coveted for several years, but wouldn't give up Kevin Martin, two people familiar with the situation said.

In addition to making Orlando a more potent offensive team -- and, once again, a matchup nightmare with Turkoglu back in the role that suits him best -- the second part of the deal gives a much needed fresh start to Arenas. The former All-Star gets an improbable chance to resurrect his career away from the place where his status as the face of the Wizards franchise crumbled amid persistent knee injuries and a 50-game suspension for bringing firearms to the Verizon Center locker room last season.

Aside from trying to reload in a way that justifies their $94 million payroll, the Magic also are taking bold steps to placate Howard and dissuade him from entering the 2012 free-agent class. Some members of the Magic organization, including Howard and coach Stan Van Gundy, have had serious reservations about bringing in Arenas since first reported in October that a deal had been arranged for the mercurial superstar over the summer. That deal was built around Carter going to Washington.

Magic GM Otis Smith, who has a close relationship with Arenas from their days in Golden State, will consummate his months-long effort to extract Arenas from Washington. The Wizards, who have turned the franchise over to No. 1 pick John Wall, are all too willing to oblige -- especially given the $62 million Arenas is owed over the next three seasons.

"It was a challenging situation for Gilbert," Arenas' agent, Dan Fegan, told "Ted Leonsis gave him a clean slate and really worked to make this situation work. He did a very decent thing by brokering a trade to Orlando and giving Gilbert a second chance."

That is the price Orlando had to pay to make room for Turkoglu and Richardson, whose presence made Lewis -- whose production has significantly declined -- no longer necessary. While the Magic are taking on significant money with Arenas and Turkolgu, Richardson's $14.4 million contract expires after this season. And Turkoglu eases the burden because he accepted a reduction in guaranteed money in 2013-14, the final year of his contract, as part of the trade that sent him from Toronto to Phoenix.

The dual swaps presumably give Orlando a starting lineup of Howard at center, Brandon Bass at power forward, Turkoglu at small forward, Richardson at shooting guard and -- here's the big question -- either Arenas or Jameer Nelson at point guard. Van Gundy also has the flexibility to play Turkoglu at the four in smaller lineups that might feature Richardson at the three with Nelson and Arenas in the backcourt. While Smith could've waited until the 11th hour on the Feb. 24 trade deadline to complete the Lewis-for-Arenas portion, the upside is that Van Gundy gets more time to figure out how to fit all of these pieces together. With Boston having the most continuity among its stars in the East, and with Miami beginning to make its Big Three work on an 11-game winning streak, time is a valuable commodity to the Magic as they try to retool on the fly.

From the Phoenix perspective, the Suns get a much-needed big man in Gortat, a poor man's version of Richardson in Pietrus, and the essentially expiring contract of Carter, who has only $4 million guaranteed next season. But besides Gortat, the primary haul for Phoenix is a first-round pick and $3 million for cash-strapped owner Robert Sarver -- raising serious questions about whether Steve Nash will want to stay in Phoenix to rebuild.


Since: Apr 6, 2010
Posted on: December 18, 2010 4:27 pm

Magic getting Arenas, Turkoglu in blockbuster

Wow talk about a big move! I guess a 12 game winning streak by the Heat and the Celtics playing youthful basketball could make the 2009 Eastern Conference Champs a little nervous. The trade with Phoenix is solid to a point. You get rid of Vince Carter, who hasn't played defense since he was a Tar Heel, for lets say JRich. To me if your Orlando you just got a younger version of Vince in the aspect that JRich isn't going to lock anyone down but I believe in the Magic's system he will flourish offensively with open three's and fast breaks. Now the big part to me and I guess everyone else is getiing Turkoglu back were he once played All Star level basketball. However you lose Gortat and Pietrus, which leaves Orlando without a backup center. Gortat was your go to guy if Howard got in foul trouble which doesn't effect the Magic now but may play a roll in the playoffs. With all that I think the Magic did well for themselves with this trade. Now Arenas for Lewis is a gamble for the Magic not for losing Lewis, who we all have seen regress since the Finals run, but for the fact that what happens to Jameer Nelson. Nelson is a floor general who covets his starting role. He may not put up major stats but his leadership on the floor is a big part of the Magic's success. The thing that questions me is what if Arenas comes in clear headed and playing like the Gilbert of old. Now the Magic would love that i'm sure but what does that due to the teams chemistry if Van Gundy is forced to play Arenas ahead of Nelson. 

There's always pro's and con's when a team makes large scale changes like this one in a trade especially during the season. However with Howards offensive progression and getting rid of Lewis and Carter the Magic, with all their new parts, can now assert themselves as Eastern Conference contenders again.

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: December 18, 2010 4:26 pm

Magic getting Arenas, Turkoglu in blockbuster

What a ridiculously stacked backcourt the Magic have now. Got to worry about the depth in the frontcourt though.

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: December 18, 2010 4:23 pm

Magic getting Arenas, Turkoglu in blockbuster


You mean to tell me that the Magic didn't consist of "all kinds of shooters" and "nobody to get dirty in the post outside of Dwight Howard" before? I'm sorry, but Gortat is just a back-up in Orlando. The Magic don't need him. Gortat plays sporadically, and while he's talented, The Magic are just wasting his talent behind Howard. They know that, that's why he was traded to a team that wanted to and could utilize his talent. However, the Magic didn't "turn" themselves "into Phoenix East" because they did not change their play style. They did, however, obtain two better scoring options than Carter (JRich) and Lewis (Arenas). I say this is a good deal for all sides, except possibly the Wizards. Good luck with Rashard Lewis, he wasn't doing much in Orlando. I'm confident Arenas will score more than 12 points per game here, and he'll dish more dimes than Lewis ever could. Meanwhile, Turkoglu is back in the system that made him rich. He'll be much more of a factor in Orlando than he will be anywhere else. Time will tell how much better the Magic will be with these players, but I believe it's certain that this improves their team. 

Since: Sep 2, 2009
Posted on: December 18, 2010 4:22 pm

Magic getting Arenas, Turkoglu in blockbuster

I agree with most posters here that this is a great trade for Orlando. To me the best part of it is that they didn't have to give up Brandon Bass or Ryan Anderson. The only real negative is the risk that this impacts chemistry and the concern as to whether or not they can mesh as a team in time for this years run (if at all).
If your Howard, Turkoglu, Arenas, Richardson, Bass or Anderson you have to be happy with this trade. If your Nelson, Duhon or Redick, you have reason for concern, but you might just get a ring or two as a result. The rest of the roster should be looking at this deal as a chance to win and so they should be stoked.
So the big questions are:
Can SVG make it work without winding up in hospital or rehab? (I say yes, but he is going to blow a gasket or two almost nighlty)
Is where Carmelo goes relevant anymore? (Only if it is the Lakers or the Bulls - anywhere else he doesn't bring enough to create a challenger)
Why did the chicken cross the road? (You pay less tax in Florida).

Since: Jul 9, 2008
Posted on: December 18, 2010 4:16 pm

Magic getting Arenas, Turkoglu in blockbuster

Trade them wherever..the NBA is a joke and only a few of you are watching. This is sport is turning into the WWE! Stern has a circus of money hungry, hip hop, sneaker pimps, playing for him.  Then once they are old and tired...they go to TURKEY, The european armpit!! (Which will suit Turkoglu just fine once he calls it quits.)

Since: Sep 7, 2008
Posted on: December 18, 2010 4:15 pm

Magic getting Arenas, Turkoglu in blockbuster

I agree completely.  The Wiz could not even get a draft pick out of the deal.  I understand the Org. wanted to move Gil somewhere but good grief.  Lewis is way past his prime, just research is numbers.  I hope I'm just a bb novice and this somehow works

Since: Dec 2, 2006
Posted on: December 18, 2010 4:12 pm

Magic getting Arenas, Turkoglu in blockbuster

Some describe this as a panic move by the Magic, but I don't see it that way...  They improved with this deal.  Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis have been regressing.  Gilbert Arenas desperately needed a change in sceneary, and maybe the chance to win and NBA title will light a fire under him.  I think it is funny, but Gortat and Pietrus are going to be the two players the Magic miss the most... Yeah, that sounds funny, but a solid back up center and a solid defender who still work their tails off are more valuable to me...

So, they have Hedo to hit the open 3s that Lewis wanted... J-Rick will play with more intensity than Carter... And the key to this deal, Agent Zero is far from being a washed-up has-been... He can still play.  This will be interesting to watch.

There is only one thing I really care about in this deal:  Poor, Poor Steve Nash.

Where will Steve Nash end up?  Someone put that man on a contender!!

Since: Apr 3, 2009
Posted on: December 18, 2010 4:04 pm

Magic getting Arenas, Turkoglu in blockbuster

The deal looks great.
But I really liked Pietrus and question if they can really replace a huge matchup problem like Lewis (despite the decline in his production lately).

Since: Feb 14, 2009
Posted on: December 18, 2010 4:02 pm

Magic getting Arenas, Turkoglu in blockbuster

Good job Magic, you basically just turned yourselves into Phoenix East. All kinds of shooters, still nobody to get dirty in the post outside of Dwight Howard. Shooting dries up, you lose. Plus, none of these guys are particularly known for their stellar defensive skills.

On the other hand, you didn't really have to get rid of anybody, outside Pietrus, who was legit on both ends of the floor.

One wonders who will now back up Howard, or are they just gonna put him out there for 48 minutes every night? I smell another signing coming up.

Since: Oct 3, 2007
Posted on: December 18, 2010 3:53 pm

Magic getting Arenas, Turkoglu in blockbuster

WHOOOOA... what a trade!  Orlando isn't messing around.  They are making a statement to the Heat and Celtics with this move.  They might be the deepest team in the NBA now, no joke...

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