Orlando Magic: What These Trades Mean For Their Contending Status

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Orlando Magic: What These Trades Mean For Their Contending Status
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If you haven't already heard, the Orlando Magic have recently made some pretty big trades.

They traded Rashard Lewis to the Wizards for Gilbert Arenas and they traded Vince Carter, Marcin Gortact and Mickael Pietrus to the Suns for Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and Earl Clark.

The Lewis for Arenas swap was actually a good trade. For the past two seasons, Rashard hasn't been producing at a level that he's accustomed to. His shooting percentage has declined and his overall level of play is not nearly as good as it was two years ago. His stats are ridiculously low; he's only averaging 12.2 PPG and 4.2 RPG.

On the other hand, Gilbert Arenas has shown us that he still has it. He is averaging 17.3 PPG and 5.3 APG. That's clearly an advantage on Orlando's part.

However, that trade was probably the only good thing Orlando has done. The other trade definitely had some faults.

The Magic have just destroyed their front court depth by trading away Marcin Gortat. Even losing Rashard Lewis hurts their front court.

If they plan on starting Brandon Bass as the power forward, they have to resort to using Ryan Anderson as the primary big man back up.

Dwight Howard is the only true center on that roster, which means he will definitely need to do a whole lot more to help the Magic win.

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Some speculate the starting line up for the Magic may include:

Jameer Nelson: PG
Gilbert Arenas: SG
Jason Richardson: SF
Hedo Turkoglu: PF
Dwight Howard: C

See a problem with that? Yeah, me too.

I'll admit, that line up is probably the best offensive minded starting five in the league, but Dwight Howard can't handle defense all on his own.

That line up will be terrible defensively.

The Magic have also lost one thing that is very valuable to them: bench depth. The Magic's bench now includes Quentin Richardson, Brandon Bass, Ryan Anderson, JJ Redick and Chris Duhon.

That's nowhere near as good as their bench was before this trade.

If Orlando makes some little tweaks to their line up, it can definitely help. Such a lineup could include:

Jameer Nelson: PG
Jason Richardson: SG
Hedo Turkoglu: SF
Brandon Bass: PF
Dwight Howard: C

That lineup will probably be more balanced, and they even have Gilbert Arenas coming off the bench for added firepower.

However, by trading away Mickael Pietrus, the Magic lost their only true defensive stopper. How are they supposed to guard the likes of the Heat or Celtics without even one defensive stopper?

In short, they can't.

There is no way the Magic can even hope to beat the Heat and Celtics come April if they continue with this revamped roster. Some major changes need to be made.

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