Saturday, December 18, 2010

Orlando Magic Completes Two Blockbuster Trades

The Orlando Magic has decided to revamp its roster midseason by making two big trades. In the first deal, Orlando acquired Gilbert Arenas from the Washington Wizards in a straight up swap for Rashard Lewis. The second deal sent Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, Mickael Pietrus, and a 2011 first round pick to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, and Earl Clark.

The Breakdown

Orlando Magic: It's hard to tell how things will shake out in Orlando with so many pieces changing. Gilbert Arenas could come in and start at either guard spot or could come off the bench like he had in Washington. Arenas should be much more motivated than he was this season in Washington and his owners could see a nice uptick in his stats if he's given starter's minutes. Jason Richardson is the player most likely to see his value fall. In Phoenix, he was the go-to scorer. With the Magic, Richardson could end up being the fourth option behind Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, and Arenas.

Hedo Turkoglu is the "X" factor in this deal. Many experts feel his game is suited to play with the Magic and that's why they chose to bring him back. We honestly feel Hedo's best days are behind him and he'll continue to struggle even though he'll be back in a Magic uniform. We're not even sure if he'll have a starting role with his new team. At this point, he is worth a speculative addition and he's available in just under half of leagues. Pick him up and monitor his first few games with Orlando. If he fails to produce, feel free to cut him loose.

Team managers in deep leagues will want to keep an eye on Brandon Bass. He could slide into the starting power forward spot or see major minutes off the bench playing power forward and center. Earl Clark is also worth keeping an eye on to a lesser extent.

Washington Wizards: Rashard Lewis is having an awful season, but this trade should be good news for his owners. Lewis will have a bigger scoring role for the Wizards, possibly becoming the second option behind John Wall. He should slide into the starting small forward spot, pushing Al Thornton to the bench and possibly sapping any value he had left. This is the starting line up we expect in Washington once everyone is fully healthy:

Center: JaVale McGee
Power Forward: Andray Blatche
Small Forward: Rashard Lewis
Shooting Guard: Josh Howard
Point Guard: John Wall

Phoenix Suns: With Phoenix, Vince Carter's value should rise a bit. He'll likely replace Richardson as the team's main scoring option. The only way we see his value falling is if he fails to stay healthy. Marcin Gortat should also see his value jump. We expect him to take over the starting center spot and he could a top 100 player by season's end if he can play around 30 minutes a night. Gortat is better than many starting centers in the league and he's proven over the last two seasons that he can produce when given ample playing time. Gortat is available in nearly all leagues and should be added by any fantasy owner in need of center help.

It's anyone's guess whether Pietrus will get a rotation role with Phoenix. His skill set is redundant with Jared Dudley and Josh Childress around, but Pietrus is a great defender and that could be enough to earn him regular minutes. Fantasy owners in deep leagues will want to have Mickael on their radar. If he plays regularly in Phoenix's high octane offense, he could gain some value.

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