I know I'm a couple days late to share my opinion of the recent "blockbuster" deals the Orlando Magic made, but I had more important things to tend to. Most notably I was manning the sprinkle department at the family cookie decorating facility, and on my off-time I was tired and passed out.
This being said, I'm not a big fan of the deal for Orlando (I'll explain why), but I like it for Phoenix and Washington.
For Phoenix and Washington, their respective deals weren't particularly eye-popping.
Washington was going to deal Arenas, and they would have probably sent him packing for a bag of Doritos and a stick of gum. So getting a better contract in Rashard Lewis (who ever thought his contract would be better than someone elses?) wasn't necessarily anything to sneeze at.
The Suns swapped Vince Carter for Jason Richardson which is basically a wash, while also sending out Hedo Turkoglu's horrendous and seemingly "untradeable" contract (I say "untradeable" because it has been traded twice in less than a season). In return, the Suns gain a much needed big man in Marcin Gortat.
On to the team who this is all centered around: The Magic.
Orlando has lost seven of their last eight, including tonight's loss to the Hawks with their revamped roster. Many analysts predicted that they and the Celtics would be the teams that would have to be beaten in order to get to the finals.
So have their recent failures on the court prompted GM Otis Smith to jump on the panic button? I would say yes.
By sending away Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus, Orlando kissed their backup center and best perimeter defender good bye. Now, Pietrus hasn't had the best season, but when the entire team is struggling, this tends to happen. He was still a guy Van Gundy could put on the court to lock down an opposing team's main offensive perimeter threat.
Do you see the Magic defending LeBron and Wade now? Regardless of whether or not they could before, they definitely won't be able to handle the dynamic duo with today's roster.
Bringing in Jason Richardson, Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu, the Magic have given coach Stan Van Gundy a headache.
None of these three players has ever been known for defense, Richardson has become a knock down three point shooter, Gilbert has always been a volume scorer with a knack for making clutch shots, and I'm really not sure what Hedo is known for, but I know it isn't his defensive ability.
I guess only time will tell if the deal will propel Orlando back into the list of teams contending for the NBA title.
You can credit Smith with trying to get his team in a position to win, he knew the team he had wasn't going to make it out of the East and that he had to do something. Whether or not what he ended up doing was right...Well, we don't know.
We can only predict the future, we cannot tell it.
The Magic have to do something to show Dwight Howard they're trying, or else they put themselves at risk of losing their franchise center.
This article is also featured on The L.A. Minute.