Gilbert Arenas' Wizardry Could Bring Some Additional Magic To Orlando
Let's make a deal Washington:
Before Gilbert Arenas was served a hefty 50 game suspension by NBA commissioner, David Stern for violating NBA policy that disallows firearms from being brought into the arena, Arenas was "The Man," in Washington.
Of course, this was before the Wizards selected John Wall No. 1 overall in the 2010 NBA Draft to be the new face of their franchise. A combination of injury problems and conduct issues forced the Wizards to go out and shop for a replacement for their dwindling star.
However, this season Gilbert has silently and respectfully reemerged as a solid force on a young Washington Wizards team, which would make him an attractive option for the Orlando Magic to pursue.
In Washington this season, Arenas eating up a healthy chunk of minutes for the Wizards, as he is averaging 31.4 minutes per game and has consumed even more minutes since John Wall suffered a foot injury against the Chicago Bulls. Even with the added playing time, Arenas' surgically reconstructed knee has not seemed to be an issue.
Aside from his ability to merely be on the floor this season, Arenas has established himself as a contributor as well. Currently, the once fallen Wizard star is making his rise back to prominence by averaging 15.9 points per game this season, including one 30 point game, a pair of 20 point games and even posted a double-double in a losing effort against the Pistons in which he scored 19 points and had 16 assists.
Arenas' 15.9 points per game average is more than any player on the Orlando Magic with the exception of Dwight Howard, who averages 21.4 points per game. Even Orlando Magic's own shooting guard, 33 year old All-Star Vince Carter is only stacking up an average of 13.9 points per game.
Arenas, who is a three-time All-Star himself and is only 28 years of age, could give a more youthful alternative at Arenas' natural position, shooting guard. His ability to play the point guard position also gives the Orlando Magic more flexibility as he could fill in for Jameer Nelson if he were to fall victim to injury again this season or if he needs to rest on the sideline.
Carter for Arenas is one possible, though not likely, one-for-one trade that could solidify the Magic at the shooting guard position for the next four years, as opposed only the next two seasons which is all that Vince Carter's contract guarantees; however, Arenas' contract makes him a slightly more expensive option for the Magic over the next two seasons than Carter—their salaries are relatively comparable, which would make the deal manageable for the Magic.
Another trade possible one-for-one deal could send Arenas to the Magic for 31 year old, power forward, Rashard Lewis. It appears that Lewis is on his decline, as his 11.6 point per game average is his lowest since his sophomore season in Seattle. Even Lewis' three-point percentage is the lowest it has been since the 2002-2003 season.
Conversely, Arenas has improved his three point shooting ability shooting .387 from behind the arch this season, which would only make the Magic even more potent from the perimeter.
Lewis and Carter may be a less attractive options for Washington due to their age. Lewis is an even less attractive option because of his inability to pose as a serious offensive threat this season. Vince Carter limped off of the court during Orlando's loss on Monday night after playing just 14 minutes because of a sharp pain in his knee which, in turn, may be a cause for concern for the Wizards if they would consider Carter in the deal.
Even though Lewis and Carter may not be the most appealing options to use as trade bait, Orlando has a team full of talent which grants them with a fair amount of flexibility if they should attempt to make a deal for Arenas.
Further, shipping Arenas to Orlando would allow him a fresh new start in a new city, where he is not haunted by his prior misconducts. After his misconduct shortened his 2009-2010 season by 50 games, Arenas has a lot to prove and a change of scenery may be just what he needs continue on his return to prominence. Arenas' departure would also provide the Wizards with an opportunity to fully usher themselves into the Post-Arenas/John Wall era.
The move for Arenas would give the Magic an offensive face-lift that they would need to remain competitive in the Southeastern Division. Though they have made their way to the the top of their division, with a hasty 9-4 start, their offense is only ranked 18th overall in the NBA in points scored. Their stingy defense has allowed them to not be the most offensively explosive team, but adding Arenas to their offensive arsenal would certainly not hurt Orlando's chances to compete for an NBA Title.
Adding the wizardry of a humbled Gilbert Arenas to a team which already boasts Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson could only add some additional magic to Orlando's roster.
A trade for Arenas would revitalize a Magic team who needs help on the offensive end of the floor and could, in return, help a struggling Washington team transition fully into their John Wall era with some fresh new talent.
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