Tag:Marcin Gortat
Posted on: January 4, 2011 10:15 am
 

Suns 'on the fence' about trading Steve Nash?

The struggling Phoenix Suns are weighing whether or not to rebuild, which could mean trading franchise point guard Steve Nashsteve-nash Posted by Ben Golliver.

Things are heading south more rapidly than expected in Phoenix, as the Suns have slipped out of the race for the Western Conference's final playoff spot, at least for the time being. 

While Suns management was smart to dump Hedo Turkoglu in a December trade that netted them a solid center, Marcin Gortat, it came at the expense of a valued locker room presence, Jason Richardson. The move almost immediately set off speculation about what it meant for aging franchise point guard Steve Nash, who was close to Richardson and who has reached the point in his career where he doesn't have time for a rebuilding effort. 

NBA Fanhouse reports that the Suns are weighing the benefits of trading Nash, who clearly still has significant value around the league and has a reasonable salary ($10.3 million this year, $11.6 million next year) that ends after the 2011-2012 season.
While the 14-18 Suns made it clear recently that their six-player trade with Orlando was not a precursor to moving Nash, the option is being considered and they are, according to the source, "on the fence" about which direction to go. The next month will be key in the decision-making process, as there is a mixture of belief and hope that the additions of Carter, Mickael Pietrus and Marcin Gortat can fortify the defense and help turn the season around in time for a playoff push.
The site also mentions the New York Knicks, with Nash's former head coach Mike D'Antoni and former pick-and-roll partner Amar'e Stoudemire, as one possible trade partner.
There's not much mystery when it comes to the sort of teams that are closely monitoring the Nash situation, as any competitive club without a Hall of Fame-caliber point guard would stand to improve significantly by bringing him aboard. And the New York Knicks, according to a source with knowledge of their thinking, are most certainly still among that group.
Of course, these rumors have come up before, and have been shot down repeatedly

What's different this time? Maybe nothing, but Phoenix is more desperate and directionless than it has been in years, so conversations about the future are totally understandable. 

Nash's popularity and box-office appeal make trading him difficult, and you'd expect that Phoenix would demand a premium in return for parting with their team's centerpiece. For that reason, it's difficult to see Nash being moved prior to the trade deadline, unless things totally fall apart in the desert.

For his part, Nash has expressed frustration throughout the early months of this season, but he's remained a loyal soldier, never requesting a trade or even floating a desire to head elsewhere. For that, he's a better man than many NBA players, but he may wind up paying for his loyalty with more frustration.
Posted on: December 30, 2010 9:33 am
 

Shootaround 12.30.10: Reke brings some havoc

Posted by Royce Young
  • Tom Ziller of Sactown Royalty on Tyreke's halfcourt winner: "This game deserves fuller analysis than the hot mess of exclamation marks and OMGs I can produce tonight. This play was only the final of Evans' incredible heroics, as the guard came up with two steals and, including the winner, seven points in final two minutes. Cousins was also fantastic, finishing with 20 points and 16 rebounds to help the Kings keep pace with a Memphis team leaning on 35 points from Zach Randolph. A personal MVP is Donte Greene, who as you can see knew the shot was going in as soon as Tyreke let it fly."
  • Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee: "It's not uncommon for a few of the Kings to take turns attempting halfcourt shots after practice with nothing more than pride or perhaps a few dollars on the line. Rarely, if ever, is that halfcourt practice expected to come in handy in a game. The Kings learned Wednesday night that practice -- even practicing the unlikely -- can pay off in a game that counts. Tyreke Evans made a shot from beyond halfcourt -- about 50 feet from the hoop -- to give the Kings a 100-98 win at the buzzer over the Memphis Grizzlies at Arco Arena. Evans jumped onto the scorers' table to celebrate. Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof knelt behind officials reviewing the play and celebrated when the shot was confirmed to have beaten the buzzer. 'I've won a couple dollars off that shot,' Evans said. 'We practice it after shootaround in the morning sometimes and I'm glad we do that.' "
  • Marcin Gortat isn't loving Phoenix's defense: “I just think we have to be at the gym every day for three hours,” Gortat continued. “Learn the rotations, learn everything from the beginning. I mean, there are so many things we’re doing bad, I just can’t find an explanation. I’m trying to get some rebounds and stops, but unfortunately there’s not too many opportunities for me to rebound because the team is scoring 120-something points. “It’s just frustrating; frustrating as hell. I’m not going to lie.”
  • Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe on KG's injury: "As Kevin Garnett screamed in frustration, limping on the leg that he has so feverishly tried to revive over the past 18 months, the pain in his voice, the sweat mixed with tears, should have been a message to those healthy big men who have spent this season on the inactive list. Jermaine O’Neal and Shaquille O’Neal will have to compensate for Garnett, who sustained a muscle injury near the right calf and will undergo an MRI today in Boston. While coach Doc Rivers said he is 'not that concerned,' the injury could cost Garnett a few games, or even a few weeks, given the cautious nature of the organization regarding injuries."
  • Kate Fagen of The Philadelphia Inquirer says things are good in Philly right now: "The 76ers' locker room hasn't been this happy in years. After Wednesday night's 123-110 run-and-gun win over the Phoenix Suns, there was laughter, jokes, and even a visit from musician John Mayer and actor B.J. Novak of NBC's The Office . Wednesday's win was about as unexpected as they come - not necessarily the victory itself, but the way the Sixers pulled it off. They outscored the scoring-happy Suns. Who'd have figured that? The Sixers, without Andre Iguodala, improved to 13-19. The Suns, led by Steve Nash with 23 points and 15 assists, dropped to 13-17."
  • It's not looking like the Bobcats will be changing their name, says Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer: "As much as some of you would prefer a name change from the Bobcats, that isn't a widespread concern, based on the team's recent market research. Pete Guelli, who heads the Bobcats' marketing, told me the team's recent market study showed no groundswell for a name change."
Posted on: December 28, 2010 2:05 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:52 pm
 

Video: Best fantasy hoops waiver wire pickups

CBSSports.com is back with another episode of fantasy hoops analysis, focusing this week on who you might pick up off of the waiver wire. Posted by Ben Golliver CBSSports.com's Sergio Gonzalez always brings the Heat when it comes to fantasy hoops advice, and this week is no exception. In an interview with Lauren Shehadi, Gonzalez breaks down which NBA players might be available on your waiver wire and should be considered for a pickup. Just click here or watch the video below. Gonzalez listed Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden, Milwaukee Bucks guards Earl Boykins and Keyon Dooling, Toronto Raptors forward Linas Kleiza, Phoenix Suns wing Jared Dudley and center Marcin Gortat, and Sacramento Kings big man Samuel Dalembert.  Also this week, Gonzalez and Shehadi break down who you should start and sit in your fantasy lineups
Posted on: December 20, 2010 5:33 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:42 pm
 

Rumor: Magic looking to trade for backup big man

After trading Marcin Gortat to the Phoenix Suns, the Orlando Magic are reportedly searching for a reserve big man to backup Dwight Howard. Posted by Ben Gollivermarcin-gortat


How quickly NBA teams turn from sellers into buyers.  The Orlando Magic, owners of probably the best center depth in the NBA last week, now are stretched thin, incredibly exposed if MVP candidate and starting center Dwight Howard should go down to injury and forced to play small ball when he is on the bench. How did that happen? Two big-time trades this weekend that netted Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu gave the Magic added offensive firepower and depth on the wings, but came with one large cost: the move of backup center Marcin Gortat to the Phoenix Suns.  Magic executive Otis Smith sounds prepared to address his new-found vulnerability upfront and is reportedly on the prowl for Gortat's replacement already, according to NBA Fanhouse
The Orlando Magic have asked about the availability of both New York's Ronny Turiaf and Philadelphia's Tony Battie, hoping to fill quickly their new void at backup center behind Dwight Howard.
The Magic, according to NBA sources, would like to use backup point guard Chris Duhon as trade bait, but they also would be willing to use small forward Quentin Richardson to get what they want.
Gortat is an agile, physical big man on a reasonable long-term contract and, as we noted on Saturday, he comes out as one of the big winners of the weekend's trade activity, given the large role he will surely take on in the desert now that he is no longer trapped in Dwight Howard's shadow. Replacing him will be no easy task, as Smith is surely well aware.  NBA teams don't often trade big for small without attaching a heavy premium, even when it comes to reserve parts. Turiaf, almost assuredly, will cost Orlando more than they are willing to pay. While Duhon is solid, and capable of playing more minutes than are available in Orlando, it's unlikely that he or Richardson is going to spark a ton of league-wide interest on their own. Aside from dangling Duhon, Smith's options going forward are to settle for a less productive warm body or to consider offering up another trade chip, such as reserve guard J.J. Redick. Like Gortat, Redick is a valuable role-player with a defined NBA skill -- he can shoot the rock from deep -- and he is signed to a reasonable long-term deal, making roughly $6.6 million a year through 2012-2013.  In Orlando, Redick is now fighting for minutes with Arenas, Jason Richardson and Quentin Richardson, so moving him wouldn't be a catastrophic loss. It would make for even more of a rotation overhaul than has already been enacted, but true Dwight Howard Injury Insurance is bound to carry a steep price. Patience wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for Smith, as some time to assess how his first round of moves work out could clarify which of the guards should be the true odd man out. 
Posted on: December 18, 2010 4:08 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:41 pm
 

Magic / Suns / Wizards trades: winners & losers

Who are the winners and losers of Saturday's trades between the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards? Posted by Ben Golliver john-wall-steve-nash Earlier Saturday, the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards agreed on trades that sent tons of pieces moving
That's a lot to take in. So who are the winners and losers of Saturday's trades? CBSSports.com's senior NBA writer Ken Berger and the NBA Facts & Rumors team weighs in round table style.

Winners
Ken Berger --  Hedo Turkoglu: He was lazy and inconsistent in Toronto, and didn't fit in at all in Phoenix. So what does he get to go with his $45 million? He gets traded to a contender, of course. And not just a contender, but the contender whose style and surroundings fit his game and personality. I don't know if Hedo can just flip the switch and go back to being the 2008-09 Hedo, but I know this: No knock on Jay Triano or Alvin Gentry, but Turkoglu will be held to a higher standard by Stan Van Gundy. Stan knows what an engaged, motivated Hedo can do, and he won't accept any less. And Hedo would be embarrassed if he gave any less to the organization that was gracious enough to have him back after he bolted on them for free agency, where the grass most definitely was not greener. Royce Young -- John Wall: He's been quietly waiting for the keys to the car and now he finally gets them. Ernie Grunfield and Flip Saunders tried to convince people Gilbert Arenas and Wall could co-exist in some kind of super-backcourt. And really, they probably could've, but this was more about the symbolic gesture of handing over the reins to Wall. He was never looking over his shoulder at Arenas, but now there's no question as to what's going on in Washington. It's full on rebuilding around Wall and that's got to make the top pick feel good about where he's at and where his team is headed.  Matt Moore -- Jason Richardson: Richardson shot a lot of threes in Phoenix. He'll shoot a lot of threes in ORlando. But now he'll do it on a team with the best center in basketball, and be in a position to be the guy down the stretch on an Eastern Conference Finalist team. While the Magic don't run and gun like Phoenix and Golden State have, he excelled in Larry Brown's Charlotte too. This gives him the ability to make the most of his prime and he should get plenty of looks. If he can run the pick and roll to any degree with Dwight Howard, he could be looking at the best year of his career.  Ben Golliver -- Marcin Gortat: There's nothing worse than watching a talented, agile, physical big man rotting away on the bench, and that's exactly what was happening in Orlando, as Gortat rode the pine behind MVP candidate Dwight Howard for the first four years of his NBA career. There was talk that Gortat would get pried away in free agency, but the Magic chose to retain him, and it probably felt to him like he would never get a shot. Instead, Gortat is headed to a team that desperately needs his defense and rebounding and is sure to give him plenty of playing time. He's also uniting with an elite point guard in Steve Nash, who will make his life easy on offense. Surely, Gortat's patience is about to pay off in a big way.  Losers

Ken Berger -- Alvin Gentry: The Suns' coach goes from scaring the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals to losing Amar'e Stoudemire to now losing J-Rich. But hey, he gets to coach Vince Carter. (Vince is a nice guy, but he's just playing out the string.) Who's next to go, Steve Nash? Well, yeah, he could be. If the Suns are in rebuilding/cost-cutting mode, I wouldn't rule anything out. Gentry deserves better. Matt Moore -- Ernie Grunfeld: That's it? We know Gilbert Arenas was untradeable. We forgive you for that. But to not get a pick or cash? Here's a question. Has Grunfeld won any trade in the past three years? Have they improved with any decision he's made outside of drafting John Wall, which was un-screw-up-able? Wizards fans weren't going to win in this trade, but Ted Leonsis may want to take a look if this is a business move, why they didn't really make that much money overall on it.  Ben Golliver -- Rashard Lewis: First, the prep-to-pro's talents and numbers fell off a cliff, and now he goes from Orlando, one of the league's championship contenders, to the Wizards, a Southeast Division basement dweller. Expectations for Lewis are starting off abysmally low and his fit is questionable, as Washington's frontcourt includes Andray Blatche, who plays heavy minutes, and rookie forwards Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin, who will need playing time going forward if they are to develop. Washington also has youngsters on the wing, so a full-time shift of Lewis to the small forward position isn't particularly ideal for rebuilding efforts either. Given the length of his contract, he is sure to be the bane of Wizards' fans existences, which is no fun, because he was able to hide out reasonably well in small-market Orlando, thanks to the team's winning and the large shadow cast by Howard. Royce Young -- Steve Nash: Nash has already expressed some level of disappointment with Jason Richardson leaving for Orlando on Twitter, saying, "Everyone wish [Richardson] the best in Orlando. Great player and great teammate! He will be missed. Damn." But now it's clear the Suns are trying to begin some sort of rebuilding project, something the 36-year-old Nash can't be excited about. The Suns almost made the NBA Finals last season behind the quality scoring of Richardson and now they get a near washed-up Vince Carter. Can't feel good for Nash right now as he sees his window closing quickly. 
Posted on: December 18, 2010 3:38 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:41 pm
 

Magic/Suns/Wizards trade: what they're saying

The Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards engaged in a blockbuster trade on Saturday involving Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, Mickael Pietrus, picks, cash, Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, Gilbert Arenas and Rashard Lewis. Here's what various NBA experts have to say about it. Posted by Ben Golliver

Any time a big trade goes down, the reaction comes in fast and furious on Twitter and the rest of the blogosphere. Here's what various NBA experts, players and writers are saying about Saturday's trades between the Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards.

Ken Berger, CBSSports.com : "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 Orlando'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."

Matt Moore, CBSSports.com : "Do not underestimate the value of getting Richardson here. Forget Hedo."

Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports : "The Magic are desperate to please Dwight Howard and keep him out of free agency in two years. Will this be enough? Why wouldn't Orlando try out this new cast, and wait on adding Agent Zero? That Lewis-Arenas deal will always be there for them."

Jason Richardson : "It's been a great 2 1/2 yrs Suns fans! My family and I enjoyed out time around such a great organization and fans. I'm excited about opportunity to play in Orlando! Thanks for all the love and support you guys showed me. God Bless!"

Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns : "Everyone wish @Jason Richardson the best in Orlando. Great player and great teammate! He will be missed. Damn."

Jared Dudley, Phoenix Suns : "Man I'm goin to miss my boy @jrich23 .. Great teammate, good luck in Orlando boy do work."

Michael Lee, Washington Post : "This is not a basketball move, folks. This is business. The #Wizards' record past 53 games with Gilbert Arenas is 15-38."

David Aldridge, NBA.com : "The deal would rid the Wizards of one of their biggest public relations headaches in years. While Arenas helped Washington make the playoffs for the first time in a decade and became an All-Star playing alongside Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison, his infamous suspension for bringing guns into the Verizon Center locker room last December as part of a prank and/or confrontation with then-teammate Javaris Crittenton cast a shadow over the franchise. Arenas was suspended by Commissioner David Stern for the final 50 games of last season and served time in a halfway house in the D.C. suburbs after pleading guilty to one felony count of carrying a pistol without a license."

Chad Ford, ESPN.com : "I'm not a big fan of that deal for Orlando. Rarely pays to panic in December. Better deal for Phoenix in the future w/ pick & Gortat. This one feels more of a wash. Arenas if healthy helps, but Magic now pretty weak up front. After Howard & Bass, there isn't much there. Magic didn't want to re-sign Turkoglu in 09. He was overpaid by Raptors. Underperforms in Tor & Phx & now fans excited to have him back?"

Bill Simmons, ESPN.com : "1. Total panic trade by Orl but their cap was kaput anyway. As a C's fan I'm slightly more scared of them now. JR > VC + Hedo thrived there. 2. Hedo-Barbosa deal was always idiotic for Phx. Confirmed by Phx being forced to dump JRich to dump Hedo's contract 5 mths later. Savvy! 3. Phx comes within a hair of making the '10 Finals, dumps JRich-LB-Amare-Amundson...now they're way worse off + cap-wise no better. Savvy!"

Vincent Goodwill, Detroit News : "A lot of guys need the rock in Orlando. Hedo loves, Gil needs it and So does Dwight...what about Jameer too? This will be interesting. It will be interesting, whether you think it's a hot mess, I have no qualms with a team and ownership going all-in to win."

Evan Dunlap, Orlando Pinstriped Post : "Richardson, a ten-year veteran swingman, is scoring 19.3 points in 31.8 minutes per game this season and connecting on 41.9 percent of his three-point tries. He 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. His contract expires after this season.

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. The combo forward with point guard skills has struggled since leaving the Magic; perhaps a return to Stan Van Gundy's offense, which helped make him the league's Most Improved Player in the 2007/08 season, will fix what ails him. As my SB Nation colleague Seth Pollack writes, Turkoglu has frustrated the Suns in myriad ways this year."

Chris Vernon, Fox Sports Memphis : "Everyone has noticed how bad Rashard Lewis has been since he got caught with 'performance enhancement', right? goes on in NBA too."

Scott, Waiting For Next Year : "Orlando is the new Cleveland; adding big contracts, veteran pieces in attempt to keep Dwight Howard happy."

Seth Pollack, SB Nation Arizona : "At this point, losing Turkoglu probably wouldn't upset too many people in the locker room, as he's not been here that long. Swapping Richardson for Carter, however, could create a potential chemistry crisis that might be the final straw for Steve Nash, who's repeatedly expressed his frustration at the lack of stability on the team over the past several years."

Mike Prada, Bullets Forever : "There will be lots of time to reflect on the end of the Arenas era, and in fact, we are planning a day-long tribute to Arenas sometime early next week.  At this point, though, I'm just sad.  I wish we could have receive more than Lewis back, but we don't really know just how much discontent Arenas was showing behind the scenes.  It's possible that he was prepared to leave anyway and this was the only thing Ernie Grunfeld could get for him.  Orlando isn't going to be this desperate again this year, so maybe the trade possibility would have passed by.  Still, it's a disappointing return on the surface for someone who gave us so many memories.

Kyle Weidie, Truth About It : "Trade or whatever, Ernie Grunfeld's time in Washington has gotten rather stale. 7 years is a long, good run as a GM/team pres. #MoveOn.org"

Art Garcia, NBA.com : "Gotta admire Otis for doing something in Dec rather than Feb. Two extra months to make it work."

Ethan Skolnick, Palm Beach Post : "Offensively, on the perimeter, the Magic will be more dynamic. Lewis was in a funk, and Carter — now just an erratic jump-shooter without his old spring — was never a good fit. The Magic moved the ball better without him, as was evident when he missed the last meeting with the Heat. Arenas is a volume shooter, but at least he’s shown this season that he can still create his own shot. Richardson is a tougher player than Lewis and just as good from deep. And if anyone can salvage Turkoglu, it’s Stan Van Gundy — Hedo hasn’t been motivated or effective since he left.

Adding Arenas, Jason Richardson and Turkoglu to a shooter like J.J. Redick and a functional two-player like Quentin Richardson, plus a point guard trio of Jameer Nelson-Chris Duhon-Jason Williams, and the Magic has more depth on the outside than any team in the NBA."
Posted on: December 18, 2010 2:38 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:41 pm
 

Magic/Suns swap Carter, Gortat, Richardson, Hedo

The Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns have reportedly agreed on a trade that includes Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, Mickael Pietrus, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, Earl Clark, a draft pick and cash. Posted by Ben Golliver

Earlier today, we noted a report from CBSSports.com's Ken Berger  that outlined the developing possibility of a trade between the Orlando Magic and the Phoenix Suns. Yahoo! Sports and ESPN.com are both reporting on Saturday that a deal has been consummated between the two teams.  The Orlando Magic will reportedly send guard Vince Carter, center Marcin Gortat, wing Mickael Pietrus a first round pick and $3 million (the maximum amount allowed in a trade) to the Phoenix Suns for Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and Earl Clark. For the Magic, they get a proven playoff scoring threat in Jason Richardson and a versatile forward with whom they are familiar in Turkoglu. They also get a heavy burden with Turkoglu's contract and sacrifice depth in the middle with the departure of Gortat. The Suns immediately address their needs for defense and rebounding with the acquisition of Gortat and shed the remaining years of salary owed to Turkoglu. They also roll the dice on Carter, who is in the final year of his guaranteed contract.  Berger confirms  the Suns/Magic trade reports and additionally reports that a trade between the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards sending Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas to the Magic for forward Rashard Lewis is a "done deal."
CBSSports source confirms: Magic get Turkoglu, JRich, Earl Clark from Suns, Arenas from Wizards. "Done deal," CBSSports source says. Wizards get Rashard Lewis, while Suns get Carter, Gortat, Pietrus.
Here's a link to Berger's full trade report . The move of Lewis for Arenas is a swap of horrible contracts, but it makes some sense for Orlando as it was going to be difficult to find minutes for Lewis, Turkoglu and the team's two other power forwards, Ryan Anderson and Brandon Bass. The Magic add two scoring threats on the perimeter in Arenas and Richardson, but the trades leave them extremely vulnerable in the middle should anything happen to Dwight Howard.  For a full breakdown of the Suns/Magic trade, click here .
Posted on: December 18, 2010 2:00 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:41 pm
 

Suns, Magic, Wizards trade rumors continue

The Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic continue to talk trade, and the moves may include Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, Vince Carter and Marcinrichardson-carter Gortat. The Wizards and Magic also continue to talk. Posted by Ben Golliver Earlier, we noted Ken Berger's CBSSports.com's report that the Phoenix Suns were engaging in ongoing talks between the Washington Wizards and the Orlando Magic, and that the talks likely included trading wing Hedo Turkoglu, one of the most overpaid players in the NBA. We noted that the nature of Phoenix's participation wasn't entirely clear Saturday morning but that they are motivated sellers after a slow start and a log jam on the wings. ESPN.com reports on Twitter that the Suns and the Magic are "closing in on a deal" that would send send Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson to Orlando for Vince Carter and Marcin Gortat. The report adds that there is a "90% chance" of the trade happening "within 24 hours." As a standalone trade for the Magic, this isn't bad at all. Richardson is still a very productive player, a dynamic offensive force who can knock down the open shot, can create off the dribble and is a good rebounder for his position. He averaged 15.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists last season and was a major key in Phoenix's deep playoff run last year. His scoring numbers are up to 19.3 points this year because Amar'e Stoudemire left town, but he's better as a second or third option, which is what he would be in Orlando. He's also in the final year of his contract, so he's not a financial anchor if things don't work out. Turkoglu's contract, which is fully guaranteed through 2012-2013, is the tax the Magic would pay for Richardson's production, but Orlando's team and coaching staff are familiar with his game, and Turkoglu's best years, by far, came in an Orlando uniform.   The Magic would be relinquishing two solid trade chips: the expiring contract of Vince Carter and trusty backup big man Marcin Gortat. Carter has proven he won't be able to help Orlando get over the hump and Howard is an extremely durable big man, rendering Gortat, a physical and skilled big man, more valuable on paper than he is on the court for Orlando, where he plays just 15.8 minutes per night this season.  For Phoenix, this move will be a tough sell to the fanbase. Richardson's playoff heroics aren't soon forgotten and his departure would likely be a bitter pill to swallow. However, there are others on Phoenix's roster who can pick up the scoring slack. The issue for Phoenix this season (and in years past) has been defense and rebounding. The Suns are currently dead last in defensive efficiency and second to last in rebound rate. Gortat pencils in as their starting center and would make an immediate impact. He's also on a reasonable contract that extends through 2013-2014, so the Suns would be receiving a fair bit of frontline certainty here as well. Carter is of a lesser concern for the Suns. He could provide some highlights and make up for some of the scoring that leaves with Richardson's departure, but he's in the last fully guaranteed year of his contract and may or may not have a long-term future in Phoenix. ESPN.com also confirms reports that this trade could also happen in conjunction with another deal that could send forward Rashard Lewis to the Washington Wizards for Gilbert Arenas and an unnamed big man. If that trade were to happen, minutes would be open for Turkoglu at both forward positions and Arenas would presumably be used in a reserve role behind starting point guard Jameer Nelson and Richardson. Orlando Pinstriped Post notes that other pieces involved in the Suns / Magic trade could include Magic wing Mickael Pietrus and little-used Suns forward Earl Clark. The site also reports that Magic wing Quentin Richardson could also be traded, which happens frequently.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com