Magic Time?

The first big trade of the NBA season went down today and it didn’t involve Carmelo Anthony.

Instead it was triggered by the team who I had written off as a contender a few days ago : The Orlando Magic. In fact it involved three teams: the Magic, the Suns and our old friends the Wizards.  The Principals were:

8 Players changed teams. Orlando gave up two of it’s starters and two of it’s bench players. The Wizards gave up Arenas but got Rashard back (really all they did was trade a horrible four year contract for a horrible three year contract which I guess is a net win). Phoenix though got the big man they needed (and decent replacement pieces for what it gave up). So did these teams achieve their end goals? Let’s take a look.

Washington shuffled the deck chairs on the titanic and saved some money (and ended the Gilbert era) so let’s give them a win. Orlando traded depth (Gortat) to get younger at the shooting guard (and get rid of Vince) but their plan relies on Hedu and Gilbert and a time machine. Orlando in my view stayed the same (50-55 wins, a 4th or 5th seed in the East and an early exit at the hands of the Knicks or Hawks).

The Big winner here was clearly Phoenix. They got that much needed Center in Gortat. Their magical doctors and the magical Nash should coax full value from Vince and  the big piece they gave up (Richardson at .146 WP48 for the season) is immediately replaced by Vince, Hill, and Childress (who all have similar or better WP48). Phoenix goes from being a fringe playoff team in the West to being officially in the discussion.

That was unexpected (Image courtesy of xkcd.com)

31 Comments

  1. 12/19/2010
    Reply

    I don’t trust the Knicks or Hawks to be able to win a series against the Magic. Of course, I also don’t trust any team giving significant minutes to Arenas in the playoffs, so you may be onto something if that’s the route they decide to go.

    SVG is so screwed… If he starts Arenas and/or gives him significant minutes, then the Magic will stink. If he doesn’t start Arenas, then he’ll start dropping deuces in teammates’ shoes and brandishing firearms.

    The big winner in this trade is the Atlanta Hawks. If management gets their act together, they’ll be the favorites to sign Dwight Howard when he leaves Orlando in 2 seasons. It’s amazing that after watching all the mistakes the Cavs made trying to surround LeBron w/ veteran talent, the Magic are going to do the same thing with Dwight Howard – and get the same result.

    • some dude
      12/19/2010
      Reply

      Arenas won’t be a problem coming off the bench. I am pretty certain of this.

    • 12/19/2010
      Reply

      Nah, Atlanta is small potatoes. They never get anybody.

      Howard’s contract is up at the same time as KG and Allen. Howard/Rondo with Pierce (and KG and Allen signing on for one more run) sound really awesome.

      • some dude
        12/19/2010
        Reply

        nah. Boston has a lot in cap holds going into that offseason. Only way to pull it off would be to rescind everyone’s rights, including KG + Ray which means you could only re-sign them via the cap space. Y’all got $30million due to 2 players and what I assume will be 2 1st round picks. And anyone you sign next off-season too, of course. Let’s say it’s $35 million on the conservative side for 5 players. 7 min cap holds apply no matter what, so you’re approaching $40 million. You could sign Dwight for less than max money, but you’d have only money to spend on veteran salaries. I don’t see this as reasonable. And Dwight isn’t come into that situation.

        Atlanta is impossible without a sign and trade or salary dumping before now. They’re on the books for $62 million right now for that year alone, so they’d have to trade Horford or JR Smith to do it and I doubt orlando does this.

        If anything, Lakers are a better option. All it would take is trading Bynum for Dwight. I don’t see it happening, but it’s more likely that Boston or Atlanta by lightyears.

        One team that can worry us is OKC. If they don’t extend Westbrook and let him become an RFA, then they can possibly sign Dwight and then extend WB at max. It will still take some manuevering on their part, but they’re close, and a WB-Durant-Dwight core has to be enticing for D12.

        The Clippers will also be in a good spot if they can dump Baron before 2012 and maybe extend Gordon after the fact. Of course, why would anyone join the Clips…

        Knicks could do it if they want to wait that long, but I doubt they don’t go after melo or CP3 or someone of that ilk first.

        Houston could be a player too.

        But so much time until then. Trades and signing will be made. Tough to know this early where D12 could go. Right now I’d say OKC, Houston, and Orlando are the faves with LAC as a darkhorse (sell the team sterling!). Neither Boston nor Atlanta are in the discussion.

        • John
          12/19/2010
          Reply

          I’m pretty sure your OKC theory doesn’t work. If the Thunder submit a qualifying offer to Westbrook his cap hold becomes a maximum contract for a 4 year player.

          They do have 5 players totaling 15million with team options. So they could still extend Westbrook and sign Howard, but they’d have to cut the rest of the team. Hey it’s worked for Miami so far.

          • some dude
            12/19/2010
            Reply

            no, his cap hold is not a max contract. And I said, there is still some wiggling they’d have to do . It’s more than the QO, though.

            • John
              12/20/2010
              Reply

              hoopsworld.com shows his cap hold to be a max 4. If it’s 125% of his qualifying offer than he’s a little over 8 million. They could offer a maximum qualifying offer to deter other teams from making an offer to him in case they feel he may want to leave.

              Also I never claimed you said they didn’t need to do some more wiggling. In fact I was agreeing with you that it was still possible because of the extra wiggling they could do. That was the point of bringing up the team options.

              • some dude
                12/20/2010

                It’s 250% of his previous salary or QO, whichever is greater. in this case, the 250%. But that still isn’t a max.

                Also, there is no max QO. There’s just 1 QO allowed based on salary.

                I think it’s close to about 12.5 million in cap hit. Of course, that’s based on the current CBA rules and current max. By the time WB is in that position, things could be different.

                Also, if OKC can get away with say a 5 years, $55 million deal, they could reduce the cap number quite a bit (without doing the math, maybe to $9 mil). I doubt he settles for that the way he’s played this season, however. I think he’ll learn from Rondo.

                Personally, i think Dwight stays in Orlando unless some major market or OKC dumps enough room for him and it’s impossible to predict that this far away. And by major market, I don’t take the Clippers seriously until Sterling is gone.

              • John
                12/20/2010

                “If the player is coming off the fourth year of his rookie scale contract, then in addition to a qualifying offer, his team can also submit a maximum qualifying offer. A maximum qualifying offer is for six seasons at the maximum salary with 10.5% annual raises. It can contain no options, ETOs or bonuses of any kind, and must be fully guaranteed. When a team submits a maximum qualifying offer (in essence “stepping up” with a maximum contract offer before the player even hits the market), it places a more stringent requirement on other teams’ offer sheets (see below).”

                http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm

                You are right about the cap hold, however. My mistake. But you’re right any talk about cap and whatnot is silly since a new CBA is around the corner. Hopefully.

              • some dude
                12/21/2010

                I wasn’t aware that was called a maximum qualifying offer, just thought a max contract. Guess I learned something new. Thanks!

                Though, I don’t see why any team would do such a thing when they can match him, anyway.

  2. some dude
    12/19/2010
    Reply

    i’m actually not sure what to make of the trades. One of those rare “I need to see them play” type of deals. Well, besides Washington. We know what they did and for them it’s a sort of win.

    If Gil has been mentally checked out and can be 85% of what he used to be, then this could potentially work. I know WP48 doesn’t say it, but J-Rich > vince. Vince is terrible against good teams right now and is a mental ninny at the end of games. J-Rich has cajones. That’s worth something. The key will be hedo playing better, of course. if he does, he’s better than Q.

    And Bass becoming a starter over Lewis is a massive upgrade. As is Anderson behind him. Also Duhon is out of the rotation. On paper they improve IF Hedo and Gil can return to their old form. If not, then they’re about the same probably. The other issue is no backup C for Dwight with Gortat gone. If Dwight is in foul trouble, this will be a major problem i the playoffs.

    I disagree with 1 specific assertion in that Orlando is unchanged and will still lose to NYK/Atl in the playoffs with or without the trade. Uh…Orlando swept Atlanta by like 20+ with basically the only change in the team being Q-Rich for Barnes. If you think that’s worth 20+ points per game!!!! Maybe this version will lose (I doubt it, they can’t match up with dwight), but the old version would certainly destroy Atlanta again as they have for 2 years running. And the Knicks and their defense, no way.

    Boston and Miami are the only teams that could have beaten orlando out East pre-trade.

    On to Phx. It’s interesting. They are still a bit too conjested at some positions and need to make more moves. Gortat/Lopez at C but they also have Frye. And do they play Frye at PF? Then Warrick doesn’t get more minutes and where does Childress play? Hill is the SF with Dudley behind him. Childress still stays the backup 2 guard but now behind Carter, I suppose. and Nash/Dragic at PG.

    They added some rebounding and dropped Turk who wasn’t doing much for em, so I think they improved. I just still see a problem of them having too many players to play enough minutes and they will have a tough time running out a Nash-Childress-Hill-Warrick-Gortat lineup because n one outside Nash can shoot the 3.

    C for Washington for shedding a year of salary.
    B for Suns. got better, but i think they could have done more.
    Incomplete for Orlando. This is either an A+ move or an F and I don’t know which.

  3. 12/19/2010
    Reply

    Hey man, great post I’m defs glad I took the time out to read it. Anyways, I was just shocked to see this big blockbuster trade go through and it just makes the NBA season that much more exciting. Hedo Turkoglu going back to the magic with Gilbert along with J-Rich. The Magic really needed a shakeup and I think it will be good for them. Actually, I think it works out pretty decently for all the teams. They seemed to have gotten what they wanted, or gotten rid of what they didn’t want for that matter lol. Also, you think you could check out my blog, cuz I really wanna hear what you have to say. http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2010/12/18/win-win-win/

  4. szr
    12/19/2010
    Reply

    Lewis has been awful, and so has Arenas. Lewis has a slightly less awful contract. So gaining a slightly less awful contract is what my poor poor wizards team calls a win these days.

    sigh….

  5. Man of Steele
    12/19/2010
    Reply

    some dude, I don’t know about the validity of comparing Orlando and Atlanta on the basis of a couple of playoff series, but if we do then I think it’s fair to note that Al Hordford is clearly not the same player he was last June. So the comment “they can’t stop Howard,” while still accurate, is less true now than it was in last year’s playoffs.

    • some dude
      12/19/2010
      Reply

      Didn’t orlando beat them like 14 of 15 times or something? With a PD of over 15? Or something ridiculous.

      It’s a horrible match. Horford continues to improve, but not to the point to switch losing a 4 game series by over 80 points…

      As for Dwight joining the Heat. Talk about making every title they win irrelevant and any title they don’t win a failure they’d never live down.

  6. Man of Steele
    12/19/2010
    Reply

    Oh, and on Dwight Howard’s contract … I may not continue to watch the NBA if Dwight Howard signs for peanuts with MIA :)

    Actually, come to think of it I would keep watching, just to see how many titles in a row they could win.

    • Neal Frazier
      12/20/2010
      Reply

      If things go really poorly in Orlando, Dwight might force a trade for Bosh and some picks.

      • 12/20/2010
        Reply

        Since we’re being crazy. How about Melo to Knicks in 2010 and then Melo for Dwight in 2011. That’s Felton,Fields, Gallinari or Chandler, Amare and Howard, I just made Knicks fans wet themselves with excitement. Actually from a basketball point of view, Amare and Howard would be perfect for each other.

        • some dude
          12/20/2010
          Reply

          Would be impossible without Dwight or Melo taking a massive paycut.

          remember, Miami only pulled off their stuff by having them take paycuts (though, not big ones) and retaining just Haslem + Chalmers.

          Dwight would only be able to come in say a Felton + Gallo + someone else deal. You can’t actually have Melo + Amar’e + Gallo + Chandler (who has to re-sign) + Felton and get Howard through free agency.

          The Brooklyn New Yorkers, perhaps, if they dealt Lopez.

          • 12/20/2010
            Reply

            SD,
            I was assuming the Knicks throw in enough to get Melo a max deal (Gallo,Chandler or Fields,Randolph,Curry etc.) and then turn around and swap Melo and his max deal for Dwight (which the Magic might take to be full value).

            It would be possible (just highly unlikely).

            A Kobe/Bynum or Odom/Bynum for Dwight swap might be more in line with History. Or a Bosh/Miller for Dwight swap.

            • Man of Steele
              12/20/2010
              Reply

              If it’s possible to make a good deal for someone as good as Dwight Howard, Odom+Bynum would be it.

              This whole conversation reminds me of about 5 years ago when it became apparent that there was no way Kevin Garnett was going to stay in Minnesota.

              Arturo, let me be the first to request that you please continue your work on the defense-adjusted WP.

              • some dude
                12/20/2010

                i don’t see the comparisons at all. KG got out of the 1st round 1 time. His team was legit 1 time. the best player he ever played with were Cassell and Sprewell past their prime. The team screwed itself with draft picks.

                Orlando has been to the Finals and semi-finals multiple times (and should again). The team has been excellent on D for multiple years.

                Could he leave? of course. Lebron left. Melo probably will. But I don’t see the writing on the wall at all.

                With KG, everyone was saying “man, can’t believe his career is being wasted in Minnesota.” No one says that of Dwight.

            • some dude
              12/20/2010
              Reply

              oh, misunderstood. I thought you wanted Melo AND Dwight. Haha, that would be hilarious to sign Melo only to trade him for Dwight.

              But I think that would be a mistake. Why keep Amar’e when he’s somewhat redundant on offense in the SnR game and Dwight bogs down the paint for him (and we remember how the Suns offense struggled at times with Shaw). IMO, you trade Amar’e for Dwight and keep Melo.

              Then you trade for Nash or sign him if he is a UFA (I forgot).

              Nash-Fields-Melo-PF-Dwight where the PF could be anyone who can routinely hit a 15 footer and play decent D. Maybe get Bass in the deal, too.

              As for Lakers, I’d prefer an Artest/Bynum deal than Odom in it because Odom off the bench makes us unique (and he’s better than Ron).

              Also, Kobe is never leaving L.A. It would be a dumb business decision no matter what. He is retiring here just like Pierce in Boston no matter how much they slow down.

  7. aaron
    12/21/2010
    Reply

    arenas will be fine coming off the bench, he’ll see himself as a scorer rather than a playmaker.

    Is there any way the Wizards could flip Rashard and a few other players for some one like Love? By that, I mean do you think the Wizards can trade or get rid of players that seem good at the moment (Blatche, Nick Young) for a power forward that can score and rebound, but is totally unappreciated like Kevin Love, Zach Randolph, Al Hoarford or Marcus Camby? Maybe even throw in one of the bigs they just drafted?

  8. todd2
    12/25/2010
    Reply

    The consensus seems to be that the Magic are stocked with scorers but will have difficulty matching the Celtics’ size. IMO they have the perfect squad to open up offensively and play an uptempo, 94 foot game. Stan Van Gundy will need ownership’s support as well as Howard’s, who’ll get less touches. The Knicks have given the C’s problems at times this year and the Magic have the potential to be a version of the Knicks on steroids. As far as matching up with the C’s goes, that strategy got the Cavs into trouble last year. They changed their allocation of minutes last year in the playoffs in order to “match up” instead of playing to their strengths.

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