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Orlando Magic Blockbuster Trade-Arenas, Carter, Richardson, Lewis, Turkoglu, Gortat On The Move

It's official, or close enough as makes no matter.  The Magic have traded Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus, Marcin Gortat, a first round pick, and cash to the Suns and have received Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson, and will be trading Rashard Lewis to the Wizards for Arenas.  That much is still pending but should be finalized very soon.  As a Hawks fan, my initial reaction is thus:


The first part of this is bad enough.  Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus, and Marcin Gortat are all solid defensive players, a claim that has never been made about Richardson or Turkoglu.  Turk and Richardson are both posting very solid True Shooting percentages (56.7% and 57.4% respectively) but some amount of that has to be the Steve Nash effect.  Richardson is 4.4% above his career mark and has been ever since he arrived in Phoenix and Turkoglu's numbers had been declining until he arrived in Phoenix as well.  What's amusing is that Turkoglu immediately becomes a starter, when he couldn't play defense well enough to hold on to his starting job for the Suns!  Neither player was that much more efficient than what VC had been this season for the Magic (55.7 TS%).  From the standpoint of Win Shares/ 48 minutes, they sent out .409 WS/48 and got back .202 WS/48.  That doesn't look really good.

The second part of this is just attrocious.  Rashard Lewis may not be an elite defender, but he can certainly hold his own.  His length and quickness on the perimeter make up for an occasional disinclination to bang in the post.  Gilbert Arenas, despite some very solid steal numbers, has never been a great defensive player.  After three injury plagued seasons in which he played just 47 total games, he's not the same player who was featured on an Eastern Conference playoff team five and six years ago.  His scoring efficiency is way down as he doesn't have the body to go in and get to the free throw line anywhere near his old rates, and he was never that great a shooter.  His days as an elite scorer in this league are over, and he needs to resign himself to being a solid offensive player.  Contrary to that purpose, he's over 7 three point attempts to per game while making a sub-standard margin of them (32.4%).  The Magic are sending out .098 WS/48 and getting back .016 WS/48.

There's a possibility, I suppose, that I've read this Arenas trade wrong.  I thought that Vince Carter was nearly done when the Magic added him, and he's been more than solid for them in his relatively brief stint there.  But one thing Vince Carter has always done better than the artist formerly known as Agent Zero is to shoot threes.  For the role the Magic want from their guards, Vince Carter matched up much better than Arenas.  Asking Gilbert Arenas to play alongside more efficient scorers like Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, and Dwight Howard might be asking too much.  He was unhappy in being redundant playing along with John Wall in Washington-how will he react to sharing time with Jameer Nelson?

All in all, this looks like an opportunity for the Hawks to climb up over a stalwart rival in the Eastern Conference and increase their hopes of making a Finals run.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.