Posted on: December 18, 2010 2:00 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:41 pm
The Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic continue to talk trade, and the moves may include Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, Vince Carter and Marcin Gortat. The Wizards and Magic also continue to talk. Posted by Ben Golliver. Earlier, we noted Ken Berger's CBSSports.com's report that the Phoenix Suns were engaging in ongoing talks between the Washington Wizards and the Orlando Magic, and that the talks likely included trading wing Hedo Turkoglu, one of the most overpaid players in the NBA. We noted that the nature of Phoenix's participation wasn't entirely clear Saturday morning but that they are motivated sellers after a slow start and a log jam on the wings. ESPN.com reports on Twitter that the Suns and the Magic are "closing in on a deal" that would send send Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson to Orlando for Vince Carter and Marcin Gortat. The report adds that there is a "90% chance" of the trade happening "within 24 hours." As a standalone trade for the Magic, this isn't bad at all. Richardson is still a very productive player, a dynamic offensive force who can knock down the open shot, can create off the dribble and is a good rebounder for his position. He averaged 15.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists last season and was a major key in Phoenix's deep playoff run last year. His scoring numbers are up to 19.3 points this year because Amar'e Stoudemire left town, but he's better as a second or third option, which is what he would be in Orlando. He's also in the final year of his contract, so he's not a financial anchor if things don't work out. Turkoglu's contract, which is fully guaranteed through 2012-2013, is the tax the Magic would pay for Richardson's production, but Orlando's team and coaching staff are familiar with his game, and Turkoglu's best years, by far, came in an Orlando uniform. The Magic would be relinquishing two solid trade chips: the expiring contract of Vince Carter and trusty backup big man Marcin Gortat. Carter has proven he won't be able to help Orlando get over the hump and Howard is an extremely durable big man, rendering Gortat, a physical and skilled big man, more valuable on paper than he is on the court for Orlando, where he plays just 15.8 minutes per night this season. For Phoenix, this move will be a tough sell to the fanbase. Richardson's playoff heroics aren't soon forgotten and his departure would likely be a bitter pill to swallow. However, there are others on Phoenix's roster who can pick up the scoring slack. The issue for Phoenix this season (and in years past) has been defense and rebounding. The Suns are currently dead last in defensive efficiency and second to last in rebound rate. Gortat pencils in as their starting center and would make an immediate impact. He's also on a reasonable contract that extends through 2013-2014, so the Suns would be receiving a fair bit of frontline certainty here as well. Carter is of a lesser concern for the Suns. He could provide some highlights and make up for some of the scoring that leaves with Richardson's departure, but he's in the last fully guaranteed year of his contract and may or may not have a long-term future in Phoenix. ESPN.com also confirms reports that this trade could also happen in conjunction with another deal that could send forward Rashard Lewis to the Washington Wizards for Gilbert Arenas and an unnamed big man. If that trade were to happen, minutes would be open for Turkoglu at both forward positions and Arenas would presumably be used in a reserve role behind starting point guard Jameer Nelson and Richardson. Orlando Pinstriped Post notes that other pieces involved in the Suns / Magic trade could include Magic wing Mickael Pietrus and little-used Suns forward Earl Clark. The site also reports that Magic wing Quentin Richardson could also be traded, which happens frequently.
Posted on: December 18, 2010 12:42 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:41 pm
The Phoenix Suns are the latest team to join trade rumors involving the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards on a possible Gilbert Arenas deal. Posted by Ben Golliver.
We've been carefully tracking the Gilbert Arenas trade rumors for months. On Friday, whispers that began back in October and got warm in December intensified, when it was reported that the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards were zeroing in on a deal for the former Agent Zero. As the night progressed, Magic big man Marcin Gortat, Magic wing Vince Carter and forward Rashard Lewis both found their names in various rumors, although the final framework of the deal that would reunite Arenas with a mentor, Magic GM Otis Smith, hasn't yet emerged, although reports continue that a deal is close. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that a third team could wind up crashing the Washington / Orlando party.
League sources say a third team is involved, with the Suns possibly contributing Hedo Turkoglu to the equation. The Magic, trying to make a bold move to close the gap with Boston and Miami, would wind up with Arenas and Turkoglu, who would return to the team he led to the NBA Finals before a frustrating year in Toronto. Magic center Marcin Gortat is "100 percent involved," though it's unclear whether the Magic would be sending out Rashard Lewis, Vince Carter, or both.One of the guarantees coming into this season is that Phoenix, run by cost-conscious, impulsive owner Robert Sarver, would be active prior to the trade deadline if they didn't start hot. By handing out relatively big contracts to the likes of Josh Childress and Hakim Warrick, trading for the massively-overpaid Turkoglu, and re-signing Jared Dudley, the Suns simply had way, way too much money committed at the same position, making adequate roster and positional balance virtually impossible. The Suns have started 12-13, which is good enough for second place in the terrible Pacific Division, but puts them on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture looking in. Until more details emerge, it's unclear what Phoenix's role will be, whether it's as a facilitator to make salaries work or as a legitimate partner. Meanwhile, Berger also reports that landing Arenas in Orlando may not be as easy as first thought.
But according to a person familiar with the situation, Smith faces two significant obstacles in bringing Arenas to Orlando. The first is Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, who has told friends he is extremely reluctant to add Arenas to the roster. The second, and even more important impediment, is Orlando ownership, which has serious reservations about absorbing Arenas' contract. Arenas has one more year left than Lewis and two more than Carter -- essentially three more with Carter's partial guarantee in 2013-14. Turkoglu's contract could ease some of that pain, as the Turkish star agreed to accept a reduced guarantee in '13-'14 as part of his trade from Toronto to Phoenix.In Arenas, Turkoglu and Lewis, you're looking at three of the worst contracts in the entire league, so there's no question it will take some internal selling from management on all sides of this trade to convince their own owners that the grass is greener on the other side. But that doesn't necessarily mean this will fall apart, as all three teams are very motivated sellers. Washington needs to turn the keys over to John Wall and start a new chapter. That's a no-brainer, and has been clear since the Wizards drafted Wall with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft. Orlando needs an aggressive scoring spark on the wing to avoid taking a half-step back this season. Saturday morning, the Orlando Sentinel quotes Smith as saying trade talks with the Wizards are at an "8" on a 1-10 level of seriousness. The Associated Press reports that Smith confirmed that talks are ongoing but also said that "nothing is imminent" with regard to an Arenas trade. The Sentinel also notes that Magic brass "would much rather have" Denver Nuggets all star forward Carmelo Anthony or New Orleans Hornets all star point guard Chris Paul, but Anthony appears headed elsewhere and Paul hasn't seen his name in serious trade rumors since the season started. Phoenix, as explained above, could use better roster balance, as coach Alvin Gentry has struggled with setting his bench rotation all season, in part because of so many relatively similar pieces on the wing. Given Smith's comment about the seriousness of these talks, surely there will be more developments as the weekend continues.
Posted on: November 15, 2010 11:18 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:46 pm
Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom was whistled for a controversial technical foul late in the fourth quarter of a loss to the Phoenix Suns. Posted by Ben Golliver. Earlier we noted that the Phoenix Suns scored an improbable victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center on Sunday, thanks to 22 (!) 3-pointers. Despite Phoenix's ridiculous outside shooting, Los Angeles still had a shot. With just under a minute left in the game, Lakers forward Lamar Odom, cut to the hoop and finished at the rim, finishing over Suns forward Hedo Turkoglu, who appeared to check him with both arms. Odom's basket cut the Phoenix lead to 111-109, but he protested the lack of a foul call by pumping his arm twice and yelling, which drew a technical foul. Here's video of the play courtesy of YouTube user TheRealCaCHookahMan. Suns guard Steve Nash converted the free throw to push the lead back to three points, and Phoenix held on to win 121-116. The Los Angeles Times reports that Lakers all star guard Kobe Bryant and coach Phil Jackson were both steamed at the technical on Odom, which they believed was whistled as part of the NBA's new crackdown on excessive reactions.
"It's a bad, bad rule," Kobe Bryant said. "It's a bad one. It's subject to so much interpretation. I've been toeing the line here, so I don't want to [get fined]. It's something you have to be conscious of as a player, which kind of throws you off your game a little bit because basketball's such an emotional sport."
Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said the technical foul "changed the context of the ballgame." "He got fouled," Jackson said, repeating it for emphasis. "It's a normal reaction. There's no doubt that we don't want guys complaining about plays up and down the court, but when someone's at the rim and gets fouled, and says, 'and one' or whatever, to stop a game or change a game around at a critical point in the game like that, it's just not the way that we want to be able to play."By the letter of the new NBA technical foul law, Odom was properly assessed the foul. But given the game-changing circumstances, this was a tough one for Lakers fans to swallow.
Posted on: November 12, 2010 1:01 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:44 pm
Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry is reportedly considering moving forward Hedo Turkoglu to the bench on some nights. Posted by Ben Golliver. The Phoenix Suns are off to an uneven 3-4 start to the season, and while a step backward was all but assured after Amar'e Stoudemire headed east to sign with the New York Knicks, the Suns already find themselves on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture looking in thanks to promising starts to 2010 lottery teams like the Golden State Warriors and New Orleans Hornets. So it comes as no surprise that Suns coach Alvin Gentry would begin to tinker with line-ups, and word comes from the Arizona Republic that one such adjustment could find expensive trade acquisition Hedo Turkoglu moved to the reserve unit against bigger front lines.
Gentry said he is considering bring Turkoglu off the bench to keep him from mismatches against bigger post players, following his depature from Monday's game after 2:23 due to fouls he picked up against Zack Randolph and Marc Gasol.
"I will not play Hedo against a guy like Zack Randolph," Gentry said. "It's unfair to him.
"I'd rather have him in the game five minutes later where he has no fouls than to take him out in the first five minutes." Turkoglu has said he would be open to coming off the bench.The move is sound, given that Turkoglu hasn't been lighting the world on fire so far, averaging just 10.1 points and 3.1 rebounds through seven games. But the problem is much bigger that Turkoglu alone. The Suns are in this lineup-juggling predicament because of an imbalanced roster, one that is absolutely loaded (over-loaded, really) on the wings and thin in the post. The biggest question for Phoenix: When is it time to pull the plug on some of these redundant pieces? Does a single team really need Josh Childress, Hedo Turkoglu, Hakim Warrick, Channing Frye and Earl Clark? I get that perimeter big men is the thing down in the desert, but that's excessive by any standard, especially when all those floor-spacers leave Phoenix as the fourth-worst rebounding team in the league and the absolute worst defense in the league. Sitting Turkoglu, an ineffective rebounder and pathetic defender, is a step in the right direction. But a more dramatic move is needed by the trade deadline if this team hopes to make the postseason. Hat tip: Pro Basketball Talk.
Posted on: October 25, 2010 5:47 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2010 10:44 am
Posted by Royce Young
Nobody is more of a softspoken statesman whose words carry big sound than Steve Nash. He knows how to say just what he wants in order to get what he wants. And in an interview with SB Nation Arizona, Nash surprisingly conceded that the Suns may be ready to take a step back and rebuild. Or if he had money on this season, not to take the Suns.
"To be honest, if I was outside this picture and a betting man, I would probably pick us to be outside of the playoffs considering all the changes and the new guys."Translation: We might not be that good. So please Suns fans, hang in there with us.
What's refreshing is that Nash understands this. He knows Hakim Warrick isn't Amar'e Stoudemire. He knows that Grant Hill aged another year. He knows that Hedo Turkoglu isn't the answer to anything but "Ball? Ball." He knows that though improved, Robin Lopez isn't any kind of franchise big man. Nash knows this. And he's not pretending to be leading a world-beating squad.
I don't know if there's any kind of subtle plan behind Nash's comments, or if he was just being honest about his team. Some players like Rodney Stuckey and Michael Beasley say things like, "On paper, we're the best evah!" and "Really, if you think super hard about it, we're probably the best team." Nash on the other hand says, "I would probably pick us to be outside of the playoffs." That's something new.
It is possible however that Nash has a plan with these types of comments. He is 36 years old and isn't getting any younger, despite what you hear about the Magic of the Suns training staff. Maybe he's worried about ending his career on a sour note. Maybe he's prodding management to go grab him some help. Or maybe he's just setting the fanbase up to lower their expectations.
It's easy to think that surely there's a motive here because in today's atmosphere of professional sports, who tells a fanbase their team might not be great? I don't deny that Nash set up fans for a lottery team for a reason. He did make a power play to get Shaq out of town and according to some, helped nudge Terry Porter out the door earlier than expected.
Most have been forecasting the Suns the set (GET IT?!) for a while now. Last season looked prime for it to happen, especially with the rumors of Stoudemire being dealt swirling all season. But they hung on to Stoudemire and made a surprising push into the third seed in the West and a conference finals run.
Now though, it looks like it might be time for Phoenix to fade. And their fearless leader knows it.
Posted on: October 18, 2010 9:48 am
Posted by Royce Young
Posted on: September 27, 2010 2:33 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2010 2:37 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
It's a season of change, and the Suns are dealing with some pretty big ones. They lost a huge part of their bench mob in Louis Amundson. They lost a pivotal speed player who's been there for years in Leandro Barbosa. And oh, yeah, they lost some Amar'e guy. So there's a lot for them to process as camp starts with new additions. Here's what's going on as the Suns try and adjust to Year 1, Post-STAT.
Training camp site: San Diego, CA
Training camp starts: Sept. 28
Key additions: Josh Childress (free agency), Hedo Turkoglu (trade), Hakim Warrick (free agency), Gani Lawal (draft)
Key subtractions: Leandro Barbosa (trade), Amar'e Stoudemire (free agency)
Likely starting lineup: Steve Nash (PG), Jason Richardson (SG), Hedo Turkoglu (SF), Hakim Warrick (PF), Robin Lopez
Player to watch: Hakim Warrick. Warrick has never really impressed anyone with his play. He's been good, he can dunk, but he's never blown anyone away. He's also never had Steve Nash working with him in the pick and roll. That's a huge step. He needs to work on his defense and finishing like Amar'e did with his athleticism if he wants to get a starting spot, because Turkoglu will likely get a lot of time there, as weird as that is. Warrick also needs to work on his mid-range game to be more of a threat all over the floor.
Chemistry check: This team likes one another, but there are a lot of new faces in the locker room, and some come with egos. With the loss of Louis Amundson and several players looking for extensions, you have to wonder if distractions will be a problem from the get-go.
Camp battles: The entire frontcourt. Robin Lopez probably has the biggest lock on the starting gig at center, but Channing Frye may push him as he did last year. Josh Childress, Grant Hill, Hedo Turkoglu, Hakim Warrick, Jared Dudley, and Earl Clark will battle it out for the 3 and 4 slots (with Childress likely to spend a lot of time at backup shooting guard). They've got a lot of weapons, a lot of versatilty, and no clear-cut leaders at those positions. Should be a fun competition.
Biggest strength: They're still the Suns. Even with the Amar'e bullet out of the chamber, they've got athletic guys who can run, shoot, and score. They work hard and are lead by one of the best point guards in NBA history. The formula has proven to work. The pieces aren't huge downgrades outside of the loss of Stoudemire, and they're used to overcoming adversity. They'll also still be entertaining as all get-out.
Glaring weakness: Super-punch. They lack a superstar outside of Nash. That's going to be hard to compete with in the Western Conference. Someone has to make a huge step if they want to make the playoffs again.
Posted on: September 24, 2010 2:51 am
Posted by Matt Moore
There's little but ruins left in Toronto with Chris Bosh gone. Bryan Colangelo managed to keep his job, as did Jay Triano, and the cast of characters remains largely the same. The goals have shifted, with the future now being the primary consideration as Colangelo has started shedding salary (including Hedo Turkoglu) and locking up younger talent. Training camp could be nice and relaxed. It could be a mess. There's no way to tell. But we'll try and get a feel for where things stand in our next edition of our Preseason Primers .
Training camp site: Toronto, Canada />
Training camp starts: September 28th
Key additions: Leandro Barbosa (trade), Linas Kleiza (free agency), Julian Wright (trade)
Key subtractions: Chris Bosh (Pat Riley), Hedo Turkoglu (trade), Antoine Wright (free agency)
Likely starting lineup: Jarret Jack (PG), DeMar DeRozan (SG), Linas Kleiza (SF), Amir Johnson (PF), Andrea Bargnani (C)
Player to watch: DeMar DeRozan. Andrea Bargnani will be under the most pressure, but DeRozan has the highest ceiling to improve. DeRozan flashed great athleticism last season and showed off an improved finesse game at summer league. He'll need to capitalize on his entire game in camp if he wants to set the tone of himself as the future for the franchise and give them something to build on.
Chemistry quiz: This team did not seem to like each other last season. Whether that was the pressure of the Bosh scenario, we don't know, but they're going to need to click more this year. Particularly, the team doesn't communicate on defense. At all. It's like radio silence. The jury is not just out on Jay Triano, it's in a pretty fierce debate at the moment. Nothing has been introduced to show that Triano gets through to this team in any capacity.
Camp battles: Jarret Jack and Jose Calderon may get in a knife fight. Linas Kleiza and Amir Johnson probably will get into a knife fight.
Injury issues: Ed Davis is out after a meniscus injury. Calderon had some bumps and bruises, but in general, the team is young and healthy. Barbosa is trying to come back from not just injury but personal issues last year.
Biggest strength: Bucket-getting. The team can score, that's for sure. Bargnani can hit from anywhere on the foor, with touch and range. Amir Johnson can crash the boards on the offensive glass. Calderon still has a jumper in him. Barbosa is still fast. They can run and they can score and that's pretty much the extent of what they can do.
Glaring weakness: They couldn't stop a corpse with a flamethrower. Their defense is pretty much like the Death Star. Sure there are tall structures, but in reality, you can just fly in, do your business, and get out.