Friday, June 26, 2009

Vinsanity Comes to Orlando

The trade that had been rumored during offseasons for the past couple years has finally come to fruition. Vince Carter will be playing for the Orlando Magic next season. For the most part, I like this trade, and it's not just because I'll get to watch hometown hero Vince Carter play night in and night out(Full disclosure: I grew up in the Daytona Beach area, and have always kept an eye on Vince's career).

The one part of the trade that I'm not too fond is the loss of Courtney Lee. He played extremely well as a rookie for the Magic this past season, and he's actually one of their better defenders. It would have been nice to have him locked up in a Magic jersey for years to come. However, this deal wasn't going to get done without him leaving town.

The rest of the trade is actually pretty good for Orlando. Alston was obviously unhappy with how his season ended. The damage done to the relationship between he and Coach Van Gundy could have been repaired, but I'm not sure there ever would have been good chemistry with Nelson starting and Alston coming off of the bench. Battie's contract made it necessary to shop him, and the strong possibility that Turkoglu isn't coming back made it imperative that Orlando make a move. Adding Carter lessens any blow that comes from Turkoglu leaving, and for those that say that Carter is too old, he's only 2 years older than Hedo.

Comparing the numbers, you'll see that Vince is a much better scorer and rebounder(Carter's career averages: 23.5pts/5.5 rebounds, Turkoglu's: 12.3pts/4.2 rebounds). Turkoglu probably shoots the 3 a little better. Even in his best season, 07-08, Turkoglu still averaged under 20pts/gm, whereas Carter has averaged 20+ pts 10 times in his career. Carter is stronger and more explosive, and can make it to the basket easier than Turkoglu. He can also shoot the mid/long range jumper fairly well, which makes him a good fit for the inside-out offense the Magic like to run.

The other thing to consider is that this trade relieves some of the pressure to resign Turkoglu to the big money deal he wants. While there's no doubt that he is talented player, Turkoglu doesn't warrant Orlando throwing a ton of money at him and putting a strain on any future signings.

Also, don't forget that Orlando is also getting Ryan Anderson. He's a quality forward that can shoot well, though, hopefully his defensive skills will improve just a bit.

All in all, I like the trade to bring Carter to the Magic. It not only helps the them on the court, but it also gives this small market team some big time press as they prepare to move into a new arena following the 2009 season.