Yes, there is a love and hate relationship when it comes to Magic fans and former point guard Carlos Arroyo. You either love or hate him usually. You either see his inconsistencies and spotty defense only, or you see his good shooting style, good offense and crisp PG play that had challenged Nelson and Dooling's PG play at times and had been rewarded at times with a starter spot from as recent as 2 seasons ago and earlier. You might be a Puerto Rican fanatic, or you might be annoyed by the crazy latina fans at games. So what has he done since then? I know only a basic story.
Carlos Arroyo left before the beginning of last season to play overseas for the Israeli Maccabi Tel Aviv team. Arroyo started off great and a few PR fans couldnt help but leave his statlines on Magic boards as a sort of "this is what you missed out on Magic" statement. Yes, what would Carlos Arroyo be if he didn't have a disagreement with the coach, which has happened with former Magic coach Brian Hill in the past- but not with SVG, or as far as I can tell for there was none or was handled very professionally, and after missing some play time, came back in mutual reconciliatory feelings to lead the team to winning the championship while having a stellar season and winning the MVP award. Arroyo is 29, 30 yrs old and is right smack dab in the middle of his prime right now.
Earlier in the week, a PR online news article stated Arroyo was returning to the NBA FA market, and already has a mystery team heavily interested in him. He is being bought out of the Israeli team to return to the NBA.
In fact, Arroyo said he was close to signing with a team and that he didn't want to give any more details about it until it was official later in the summer. He is going to Las Vegas to meet with a team. Now, there are 21 out of 30 teams in the Las Vegas Summer League, but every team is actually at the event for atleast scouting and talking. Orlando Magic's scouts are there, and so is GM Smith, and some FO people I would guess. So there is every reason to believe it could just as easily be the Magic as any other team at Las Vegas. The article goes on to talk about what teams it thinks might be logical or good fits for Arroyo. That about sums up the article, besides some news on the PR's national basketball team and some of it's activities this summer.
So who is this mystery team that's close to signing him? And what are some reasons that it could potentially be the Magic?
Now, this is perfect timing. Arroyo has been a starter, a fan favorite, a championship winner, the MVP winner, and even had to go through some tough issues with his coach before apologizing and coming back to favor, all in one season. Arroyo has had quite a crazy but also very fulfilling season. He is in his prime right now, but at 29, 30 there's not exactly any more hidden upside and he knows it and has no problem with it. He knows he is talking about the backup PG spots with his suitors, or his one close mystery team and he's ready for it. This is not a situation where Arroyo expects to start anymore, and if he is in the Magic's targets list, this would be painfully obvious with Jameer Nelson's stellar play the last 2 seasons and especially this past season, where Nelson was extended by the Magic for the starters job and achieved an All Star status. There's no misconceptions here, Arroyo knows his role, he is a backup PG permanently here if he were to join again. He is at a age where he is also nearing the declining stages too, so his maturity is culminating at an all time high. He would love to add a NBA championship to his achievements and is ready to do everything necessary the team wants.
In fact, outside of the coaching clashes of his past, Arroyo has had little negative history with SVG, and has never been a chemistry problem for teammates in the NBA. Instead, this is actually one of the best chemistry moves for the Magic, as Arroyo has spent many seasons with the Magic and there are still many teammates from that team 2 seasons ago. They are very familiar with each other and Arroyo remains good friends with some of them and other NBA players. The team bond is there already. Here's a look at Arroyo celebrating with Dwight on one of his more historic alley-oops as it was a game winning play against the Spurs. :P
Resigning Arroyo would also bring many fans, because he is a fan favorite player and because of his nationality. I don't need to tell the newly luxury tax paying franchise what that brings. Lots of tickets. Lots of merchandise. Lots of money. Magic retain the free agent rights of Carlos Arroyo. I don't know if the rights can be waived or will be dealt away in a super minor deal if its another team that grabs Arroyo, but that seems to suggest something else that could potentially help Magic resign Arroyo.
On a basketball side of things, Arroyo has alot of familiarity with the Magic system and plays. He has PG'ed the team for many seasons in the past, and it has not changed much since that 2 seasons ago. He brings a solid offensive game, that was at many times, as good and comparable a shooter and penetrator as Nelson. He is a good floor general for the offense, particularly at a backup capacity. He is still very quick and can play heavy minutes consistently, giving AJ rest if he's overplayed, which can be at times past 15 minutes or 3 straight games of heavy playing. He gives a different look than AJ at backup too. I'd imagine SVG would use whichever backup PG calls for the situation, as I think Arroyo is a much better PG than AJ for the offense. If the guards aren't too quick tho AJ is very much better than Arroyo for defense. Tho Magic have not been killed by Arroyo's defense in the past either. Just expect about the same or slightly less defense you get out of Nelson. As long as Arroyo hustles and plays 100% hard, SVG will have no problem.
I've always thought Arroyo as a nice floor general whose best aspect is shooting. He's a great shooter and that's something SVG encourages for the team's shooters. Arroyo does not change the style of play much at the PG spot between Nelson and him. One of Magic's biggest priorities right now is PG depth and having someone to relief Nelson and AJ at above a replacement level would be a big plus. If the Magic and Arroyo's camp agree to a vet minimum salary (Arroyo receiving vet min would be likely), then at that price I would be very hard pressed to find any better PG's out there for the Magic.
PG- Nelson, AJ, Arroyo, Robinson
Super short translation: Blazers have shown past and current interest. 76ers show interest, have him on their FA list board if a sign-and-trade of Andre Miller is completed. Celtics and Magic starting to show some legit interests too.
The Celtics and Magic interests into Carlos Arroyo were reported by the site HowardTheDunk.com
International teams Unicaja de Malaga and Olympiakos may show interest.
In the league of Israel, Arroyo averaged 15.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.2 steals while winning MVP as his team won the championship.
In the campaign of Euroleague, Arroyo averaged 14.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. El equipo llegó hasta la fase octavos de final. (Think that means final eight of Euroleague playoffs).
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