Magic Land Arenas, Richardson, Welcome Back Turkoglu
The Orlando Magic pulled off two major trades which included landing two dynamic scorers, and welcoming back a key piece of their 2009 NBA Finals run.
The Magic first acquired Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, and Earl Clark from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, and Mickael Pietrus, a first round pick, and $3M in cash. They then are in talks of pulling their second big trade by sending forward Rashard Lewis to the Washington Wizards for Gilbert Arenas.
With the trade, the Magic, get their big piece from their 2009 NBA Finals run in Turkoglu, who left for a big contract with the Toronto Raptors after the 2009 season. After a season of struggling north of the border, he was sent to the Phoenix Suns, who did not want to take on his big contract (which has four years and $44M left). They get a dynamic scorer in Richardson. The Suns get rid of the contract, along with cash considerations, a key piece in Gortat, who adds to their frontcourt depth, a three point threat in Pietrus, and Carter's hot and cold game.
As for the trade with Washington, the best available trade for the Magic and Wizards was Lewis for Arenas, in terms of value and contract. Arenas has $60M remaining on his six year, $111M contract he received in 2008. Lewis has two years remaining on his six year, $118M deal he signed in 2007. The Wizards can also focus on marketing John Wall as their franchise face, right after Arenas' well-known incident with bringing guns to the locker room a year ago to the day on December 21, 2009, leading to him being suspended and spending time in a halfway house.
With these moves, the Magic get a whole lot of better offensively, but one wonders what they will be like defensively now. Will Turkoglu recapture the mojo he had in 2009? And how will this affect Dwight Howard down the road? These will be answered all in due time.