Saturday December 18, 2010 has sent the fantasy world into a mini uproar. The Orlando Magic blew up their team with 2 trades and now suddenly have changed the fantasy prospectus for at least 8 different players. The two deals breakdown as follows:
Deal #1: Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns:
Orlando gets: Hedo Turkgolu, Jason Richardson, and Earl Clark
Phoenix gets: Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus, and Marcin Gortat
Deal # 2: Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards
Orlando gets Gilbert Arenas
Washington gets Rashard Lewis
The fantasy fall out from this deal is immense let’s start with Phoenix.
Vince Carter: VC steps right into the starting shooting guard role on the uptempo Suns teams. This will be the first time Vince has played with an elite point guard since the brief time he and Jason Kidd played together in New Jersey. He is better play maker than Jason Richardson was and could make the Suns team a little better while taking some pressure off of Nash. I think Nash’s role in general remains largely the same overall though. Vince Carter owners should rejoice as some gaudy lines are likely coming out of Vinsanity with this trade.
Marcin Gortat: Gortat has been coveted by a multitude of teams since entering the league 2 years ago. He was as a good as gone to Dallas two summers ago before the Magic decided to anti-up on the qualifying offer the Mavericks made to him. How he gels in an uptempo offense remains to be seen but he is a solid presence on the interior and he has a better touch than Robin Lopez does on offense. I am not ready to crown him the starting center but he should challenge for minutes and could start before the season is finished. He too should benefit from playing with hall of fame point guard Nash. Grab him off waivers if he is available.
Mickael Pietrus: Pietrus was having a hard time getting consistent minutes under Van Gundy. The move out west should benefit him as well but he clearly only will have real value if Carter or Grant Hill go down with an injury. If you need some 3′s and steals he might be worth an add, but I would wait to see how his role plays out and that could take a week or two to figure out.
The affect on the Wizards is as follows:
Rashard Lewis: The Wizards rid themselves of the massive contract of Arenas and take on the massive contract of Lewis but for less years, and they might buy Lewis out at some point next summer. This deal was about getting Arenas the hell away from John Wall and the Wizards franchise but for Rashard Lewis its means a fresh start. Ironically after the tragic West Coast trip Orlando had Lewis stated that he wanted to be more aggressive and not watch Carter, Nelson and Howard as much. Well he won’t be watching them at all unless its on TV or when the respective teams meet. I find it hard to believe he will offer any more value in Washington than he did in Orlando. The Wizards have a multitude of mediocre swing men and Lewis will fit right in (which isn’t a good thing). As an owner all you can do is hope John Wall likes him and builds a rapport that improves Lewis’s paltry 12.2pg.
Nick Young: With Arenas being shipped to Orlando, Nick Young stands to gain a boost in minutes for the remainder of the season. He should start at the shooting guard spot and would move Kirk Hinrich to the backup point guard position where he is best suited. Young’s promotion is far from signed sealed and delivered. Flip Saunders might not want loose the firepower off the bench that Young has provided. Either way Young is probably the biggest winner in Washington and as some of my friends have eluded to, Young seems to have more lives than a cat.
The affect on the Orlando Magic is somewhat of a fantasy buzz kill as the starting lineup is not at all set. Van Gundy said he expects Nelson to still be his starting point guard but where Turkgolu, Arenas, and Richardson fit it in remains to be seen.
Gilbert Arenas: The early and I mean rooster crow’s early reports have Arenas becoming the Magic’s super 6th man in this deal. I am not sure I am totally buying that theory with Arenas and Magic GM Otis Smith having such a close relationship. I think Smith would expect Van Gundy to start Arenas to give the Magic another play maker on the floor at the start of games, but one could argue Turkgolu will fit that bill. Whether he starts or comes off the bench he will probably get the lion’s share of the minutes between him an Richardson due to his late game heroics of the past.
Hedo Turkgolu: The Orlando Magic favorite son Turkgolu returns for his 2nd tour of duty. Of the three major components to the Magic’s trade (no offense Earl Clark) I think he is the player that is guaranteed to start the minute he puts on the blue and silver. Many credit Turkgolu for being the key driving force that allowed Orlando to see its 2nd ever NBA Finals in 2009. Dwight Howard has said many times since Turkgolu’s departure that he missed him a lot! Superman’s indirect request has been answered and owners should look for a refreshed Turkgolu for the remainder of the season. He has looked lifeless in both his stints in Toronto and Phoenix maybe this is what the doctor ordered. If he was waived in your league he is undoubtedly worth the addition.
Jason RIchardson: I think he is the biggest loser from the fantasy angle in all of this movement. He was having somewhat of a renaissance in Phoenix this year and was leading the Suns in scoring at 19.3ppg. I think his ppg is going to slip to somewhere in the 14-15ppg range and while he is not someone who should be on waivers I don’t like this trade for him one bit. Van Gundy could fall in love with J-Rich if Arenas starts to act up, but I would be looking to unload Richardson immediately if I owned him.
Brandon Bass: Bass was inserted into the starting lineup last week for the Magic with mostly positive production. 14.7pg, and 7.5rebs in his last 4 games as a starter. If he is available grab him immediately. The Magic are said to be looking at having a more conventional starting lineup which would mean starters minutes for Bass for the foreseeable future. He does not get any assists, which seems almost criminal with Dwight Howard on the block but should average near a modest double double with high percentages across the board with starters minutes.
Unfortunately this trade didn’t make to many free agent/wavier wire prospects relevant. Almost everybody affected by this trade was or should have been owned in leagues already. While it does improve the value of some, if you own Arenas, Richardson, or Turkgolu you have reason to worry. It is very rare for a team to offer 3 or more fantasy talents. The Magic now have 6 players with talent to produce (Nelson, Arenas, Richardson, Turkgolu, Howard and Bass). In my opinion that math does not add up.
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com