What do you do when you have a 96 million dollar payroll, and do not appear to be headed anywhere? After sitting out most of the summer free agent signing frenzy the Magic though they were in a good enough spot to push the Boston Celtics for the Eastern Conference title. A quarter of the way through the current NBA season they looked like a team that would lose in the opening rounds of the NBA playoffs. So General Manger Otis Smith decided it was time to make a big move, and pulled teh trigger on two trades.
The first with the Phoenix Suns netted him Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, and Earl Clark. The second with the Washington Wizards landed him Gilbert Arenas. Sure he gave up Vince Carter, Mikael Petrus, and Marcin Gortat to the Suns, and Rashard Lewis to the Wizards. However what were those players giving him? We have to admire a GM having the gumption to make two big deals to save this season.
They add all of that around Dwight Howard early enough in the season to make a really big impact. Sure Arenas has struggled this year, but he will run the new Magic offense and get some space. Of course the big win here for the Magic is the addition of Jason Richardson. He is averaging 19 points a game on 42% shooting. He will likely get as many shot in Orlando if he can add the defense that Coach Stan Van Gundy requires.
This certainly makes the Magic better on paper, we will have to wait and see how that translates to the floor and how this new Magic team can play together.