In what has proven to be a season full of trade murmurs, two teams have made quite a loud noise.
According to sources, the Orlando Magic have agreed to a trade in principle with the Phoenix Suns.
Orlando has been playing terribly as of late by losing five of its last six games and moves seem to be their only answer to improving. The Magic also happen to be in trade talks with the Wizards to acquire Gilbert Arenas for Rashard Lewis.
Turkoglu saw his best days in Orlando in an offense that somehow let him flourish offensively. He averaged close to 20 points and five assists a game in 2007-08 season for Orlando and helped take them to the Finals in 2009. The risk is if he will return to form from poor performances in both Phoenix and Toronto since playing in Florida.
If the Lewis trade occurs, he could see an opportunity to start in Orlando but Brandon Bass is sure to make a run for the starting position as well. Bass’s minutes have increased to 22 a game which is higher than the 19 a game he played in Dallas. In addition, he is scoring more than ever before with 10 points a game along with 5 rebounds a night.
Richardson is having a very impressive season with 19 points a game and is coming off of a season where he and the Phoenix Suns surprised a lot of people by making it to the Western Conference Finals. Orlando’s bench is 18th in the league in scoring with only 28 points a game. J Rich will score but Van Gundy will have to play him.
With Carter’s expiring contract and a sense of urgency in the midst of the Heat’s winning streak, Orlando obviously knew that a changeup needed to occur. Sitting at 16-9 while Miami just won its 10th straight game, fourth in the East isn’t going to cut it for the Magic who have known nothing but failure in the playoffs.
The team is 24th in the league in scoring with barely 98 a game and Carter is having the worst scoring season of his career with only 15 a game. Gortat is only scoring 4 points a game while Pietrus is only managing to scrounge up 6 a night. It’s time to retool the lineup so they don’t fall any further in the conference standings
The next move for Arenas would increase their guard depth and would dump the remaining $118 million Lewis has on his six-year deal that only has two and a half years left on it.
This is easily the biggest trade of the season and that really isn’t saying much. Aside from the New Orleans-Toronto and the Lakers-Houston-Nets trade, things have been pretty quite. This trade sends two serviceable players to the Magic and allows them to dump Carter off (sorry but it hasn’t been a great ride for him in Orlando). It’s still questionable as to why Phoenix has any interest in acquiring him.
In addition, Otis Smith is telling the league that he isn’t afraid to make major moves with a possible player’s strike on the horizon. However, both Boston and Miami have made it very clear that the East is going to be very hard to win. New York has shown its teeth this season and Carmelo Anthony moving to New Jersey could make things interesting out East as well.
Orlando has already split two games with Miami and their Knicks game was postponed. They play Boston for the first time on Christmas day which should be a good chance for them to showcase whether or not bringing back Turkoglu was a good idea.
Unfortunately, the trade doesn’t do much for the Suns. Carter is old and essentially invisible these days while Pietrus hasn’t been good since Golden State. Gortat will give them an extra big guy for their rotation but that’s about it.
If both of these trades go through, Orlando will show the league that it’s ready to make another run to the Finals.