Update: Both deals are now official.
Things have become more clear than ever. Last night (well at about 3:00 am), Howard the Dunk reported Dwight Howard was pushing the Magic to strike a deal (or 2).
It sounds like two deals are near completion. A deal that would feature Rashard Lewis being dealt for Wizards Guard Gilbert Arenas has been discussed throughout the night but if the Magic were going to make that move, it was clear they had to make another move as well.
It sounds like they have. The Magic are likely to deal Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, their first round pick another player to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for former Magic wing Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, and Earl Clark. The other player in the deal seems to be one of Orlando’s two small forwards – Mickael Pietrus or Quentin Richardson. One source says that Pietrus is the last player in the deal but Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post hears from his source the final player may be Quentin Richardson.
Update: Pietrus, not Quentin Richardson, is the final piece of the deal. The Magic will also give their 2011 first round pick and cash considerations.
I didn’t like the move for Arenas at first but hearing but after hearing about the inclusion of Jason Richardson, I like the deal at first glance.
This probably means the Magic will trot out a lineup of Howard, Brandon Bass, Turkoglu, Richardson/Arenas and Jameer Nelson.
Both Arenas and Richardson could provide instant scoring off the bench but there’s a lot more size in the starting lineup with Richardson at the 2 if Arenas is willing to come off the bench.
The soon-to-be 30 year old Richardson (January 20th) is averaging 19.3 points (41.9% from beyond the arc) and and 4.4 rebounds per game while Turkoglu is averaging 9.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game but he’s shot very well from the outside (42.3).
Clark is a second-year pro from Louisville, who’s averaging 3.2 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. Clark is just 22 years old and was the 14th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft so there is obviously talent there.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, co-host of CB Sports Radio from 5-7 pm week days (1420sports.com) and ESPN 1080′s Magic Insider (http://espn1080.com). Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).