Thoughts on the New Look Orlando Magic12.27.10
I'm a big fan of what the Magic did. The biggest deal that I liked is their dumping Rashard Lewis for Gilbert Arenas. Of course, Arenas has his own baggage. I don't think his gun possession incident was as big a deal as it was made to be (it was a huge deal -- but I think it was more stupid than corrosive) and Arenas can still play. He makes a ton of money, but the reality is that the money on Rashard Lewis' contract was also awful and he really is dead wood at this point.
One thing that I think a lot of people underrate is the ability to score in the NBA. There's a lot of "truisms" in the NBA -- like defense wins championships and the like. I believe scoring wins championships. The reason I haven't liked the Magic as a championship contender in years past is they haven't had go to scorers in crunch time or when a drought happens. Arenas gives them that.
The other deal I liked slightly less. I don't mind moving Vince Carter -- but Pietrus, Gortat, and a #1 have value. I really disliked Hedo because I thought he never really gave much of an effort on defense. His offensive contribution has and will be huge though. He's a matchup nightmare and thrives under pressure. Hedo will bring necessary moxie back. I'm not a huge JRich fan mainly because he doesn't fill up the stat sheet on anything but points -- but the Magic will now attack their scoring problem in 3 new ways: Hedo, JRich, and Arenas. Not a bad combination.