Although it is unclear who or what the Orlando Magic would send to Washington in exchange for the 28-year-old Arenas, it would be almost certain that Vince Carter would be a key piece of the trade. Wizards big man Andray Blatche and Orlando forwards Rashard Lewis and Daniel Orton could also be involved.
This would not be the first time that trade talks have come up between the Wizards and Magic. It is widely known that Magic President of Basketball Operations Otis Smith has had his eye on Arenas for quite some time.
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis denied any such trade discussions and labeled the talks as nothing more than rumors.
“The team is trying to rebuild and Gilbert is one of the leaders on the team,” Leonsis said.
But as we all know, talking about a trade before and/or during the process of execution is flat-out stupid. Why would Leonsis talk about this trade and possibly effect the value of Arenas? He wouldn’t. Leonsis is a business man, and a very good one at that. He knows, as well as the rest of us, that this is the best opportunity for the Wizards to dump their trash and build for the future.
First, a trade consisting of Arenas to Orlando in exchange for Carter works financially. Arenas is set to make $17,730,694 this season. Carter is set to make $17,522,375. The key, however, is the length of each player’s contract.
Arenas’ contract is good through 2013-2014, with his salary increasing each year until he ultimately earns $22,346,536 in the final season. Carter’s contract, on the other hand, is good for only this season and contains an $18,000,000 team-option next season, meaning the team decides whether they want to pay Carter $18m or let him go after this year.
It’s not hard to tell whose contract is the favorable one.
Secondly, each team benefits by gaining exactly what they’re looking for. In the case of a trade involving Arenas, the Wizards will be focusing primarily on the incoming player’s contract and whether or not he can score. With the absence of Arenas, who is already making a case for Comeback Player of the Year, the team will need to call on someone to pick up the scoring slack. Enter Vincanity – a pure scorer.
The only concern for the Washington Wizards could be the output from Carter. In a potential deal, Carter would be leaving his hometown Orlando, a Finals-contending team, for Washington, a likely lottery-pick organization. How will his attitude change?
At the same time, Carter is 33 and may try to audition for one last contract (maybe a three-year deal if the price is right). With that being said, Carter may play score his heart out and even help the Wizards on offense while he does it.
Before these talks even heated up, I was looking for ways to shop Arenas. I even fantasized of Arenas being traded to the New York Knicks in exchange for the overweight Eddy Curry (does he still play?) and his expiring contract. If I was willing to see Curry suit-up for the Wiz, you can imagine how much I love the Arenas-for-Carter idea.
Not only will this move drastically help the Wizards in the long-run and ultimately help to achieve their goal(s), but it also won’t leave the team with necessarily less talent than when they had Arenas. This is by far the best possible option for a team looking to rebuild around rookie phenom John Wall.