Sunday, December 19, 2010
*Troubled Teams Trade Toronto's Trash
A proverbial stink arose this Saturday as the Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic traded assholes in a swap of two of Toronto's most hated former Raptors. Orlando sent Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, Mickael Pietrus and a first-rounder to Phoenix for Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark. The Magic, sensing that Gortat would get little playing time behind the freakish, super-human Dwight Howard, initiated the move in the hopes of adding some mobility and outside shooting to their lineup by bringing in the two-time slam dunk champion Richardson, and a familiar face in Turkoglu. The Magic were also apparently unhappy with the douche quotient of their club, because on the same day they acquired the much-maligned Gilbert Arenas from the Washington Wizards for Rashard Lewis.
The unexpected mid-season house cleaning can only be perceived as an attempt to keep up with the Jones', or in this case The James'. On a more basic level, this was a move made out of sheer panic. The Magic's grip on the division has been slipping away over recent weeks as inconsistent play, coupled with the apparent jelling of the super-friends in Miami has seen the Heat take over as leaders. Get used to it, Orlando.
Let's not get ahead of ourselves, The Orlando magic are no joke. any team with a ferocious animal such as Dwight Howard, who can go off for 20 rebounds on any given night, must be taken seriously. The fact of the matter is that the evil empire that is afoot in Miami will not be held at bay for long, but it does make the battle of Florida that much more interesting. Making the moves now signals to the fan base, and to the rest of the league, that Orlando is not ready to relinquish it's spot as genuine contenders, and that they will not be out-douched on the road to victory. The Magic now boast one player who skips games to go clubbing, and another who is willing to threaten his own team mates at gun point. And they call Lebron the villain...
On the flip side of the coin, Washington and Phoenix have to be seen as the winners in both of these deals. Off-loading an overpaid egomaniac such as Agent Zero (or Glock 9 as I now call him) is an epic win for the The Wizards franchise. They've shed a major P.R. and locker room burden and replaced it with a solid and reliable piece to move forward into a new era. Phoenix are also big time winners here. The Suns needed help in the paint, and have gotten just what the doctor ordered in the previously under-utilized Gortat, plus added a veteran (in age, not attitude) piece in Vince Carter. Both players should presumably flourish within a Steve Nash-run up-tempo offence, although neither player will replace J-Rich's athleticism. Add to this the fact they further bolstered their front court with a solid bench forward Mickael Pietrus and the future dividends to be paid through the acquisition of a first round pick, and the Suns have seemingly solved problems for both the short and long term.
Orlando have really jumped the gun in their attempts to match assholes with the Miami Heat. The team that wins a trade is the team that winds up with the better player, and on paper the Magic gave up the better players in both moves. What can't be told yet is the effect the move will have on Turkoglu, Richardson, and Arenas, as the change of scenery, and a winning atmosphere could see all of these players flourish. Personally, I think they've dramatically altered the chemistry of their team at a time when continuity should be shining through. Now instead of pulling together, they will be forced into a feeling-out period in which their new core grows adjusted to one another, right as their biggest division rival already has.
Orlando Magic: EPIC FAIL? Only time will tell.