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.