ORLANDO FL - NOVEMBER 03: Jason Williams #44 of the Orlando Magic drives past Sebastian Telfair #3 of the Minnesota Timberwolves during the game at Amway Arena on November 3 2010 in Orlando Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this Photograph user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sooooooo, this happened. As you may have heard, especially if you clicked that link or frequent the fantastic Orlando Pinstriped Post, the Magic have decided to swap Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus for Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and Earl Clark. Then, they moved the decreasingly effective Rashard Lewis to the Nation's capital for Gilbert Arenas. In a vacuum, this has nearly nothing to do with the Knicks (Whatever skepticism you may have that Steve Nash will be the next to leave Arizona, this does not make a trade imminent and, furthermore, does not make a trade to New York currently feasible). However, because the Knicks are in the market for a ballhandler to spell Raymond Felton, let's see what's changed. pmuJ.
Donnie Walsh has indicated that he is in the market for a ballhandler and distributor, preferably in the final year of his contract. A few of the names brought up thus far have been Sebastian Telfair, Ramon Sessions and Jason Williams. The only backup point guards who have been affected by the trade are Chris Duhon and Jason Williams. Now, call me crazy, but I think Walsh may shy away from Duhon's four year deal and may be slightly more attracted to Williams's expiring one. So, how does this trade make Williams more dispensable? Because the Magic received two ballhandler/distributors in their Saturday trades.
By trading Lewis for Arenas, the Magic effectively swapped terrible contracts, lost their starting, yet underperforming power forward, and gained a firecracker off the bench to handle and pass the ball, as well as all of his "other talents," such as shooting the ball anytime, anywhere, no matter what. The Phoenix trade sees the Magic letting go of Carter, who handled the ball some of the time, for Turkoglu, who does the same. So, while Orlando may have set out to find a second ballhandler for Nelson and to utilize Carter's expiring deal, they accomplished the first objective two-fold. Nelson, Arenas, Turkoglu, Duhon, Williams. If one of those guys isn't dispensable, David Kahn must be running the Magic (get it? point guard joke!). With Turkoglu filling an obvious need (small-ball four, de facto distributor a la 2008-2009) and Arenas staying put, that indicates the movement of Nelson, Duhon or Williams. Nelson is the starting point guard of the future for the Magic, Gilbert or no Gilbert, so he's staying put as well. Duhon's contract is much less desirable, so the Magic are probably going to attempt to get rid of that over Williams's. However, that does not mean Williams is unavailable.
But what would they want in a trade? Take a look at Orlando's new roster and you will see the gaping holes left by the flight of Gortat and Lewis. Turkoglu mitigates the damage somewhat, but they could still use a big body, as Ryan Anderson is available but Daniel Orton has yet to play real NBA minutes. So, if the Knicks truly covet the recently very available Williams, it seems reasonable to expect a trade that includes someone tall (Randolph, Mozgov).
Subjectively, I can't stop thinking that the Magic are pretty weak at the Small Forward spot with the elimination of Pietrus. As it stands, they have Turkoglu and Quentin Richardson, plus I guess Anderson may be able to play the three somewhat, but I can't help thinking about how perfectly Kelenna Azubuike would fit into that team. Also, don't sleep on the potential trade value of Roger Mason as an end-of-the-bench guy on a squad with championship aspirations that shoots the three as much as Orlando.
What say you all?