Orlando’s Trade Fiasco

Wow. The big moves made by the Orlando Magic over the weekend strike me as really, really bad.

First, start with the Wizards deal. From DC’s point of view, basically we’re swapping Gilbert Arenas’ bad contract for Rashard Lewis’ bad contract. The upside for us is that there’s one less year on Lewis’ bad contract. That’s not huge upside, but it’s something. If the Magic are willing to help us out like this, good for them, but they should get something in return. Not a lot necessarily, but something. A second round draft pick. The right to swap first-rounders. A free cap. Something. Instead they got nothing. This deal hardly turns the Wizards around, but any time Ted Leonsis can get something for nothing I get a little more hopeful.

The Phoenix trade, meanwhile, is a mess. Vince Carter and Jason Richardson have essentially the same production. But Carter’s on a more favorable contract. So mildly bad deal. This then leaves us with Gortat and Pietrus for Hedo Turkoglu. Trading Gortat makes sense on many levels since he deserves more minutes than he can realistically get as Dwight Howard’s backup. He’s a valuable player, but not super valuable to the Orlando Magic so trading him to a team that needs a starting center makes sense. But they traded him for . . . Hedo Turkoglu, who’s not good. As best I can tell, this is superstition. The Magic played really well when Turkoglu was on the team. And he played very well during a high-profile playoff series against the Boston Celtics. But he wasn’t a particularly great player during that season, and he’s gotten worse since leaving.