The Orlando Magic have engaged the Washington Wizards in an ongoing trade dialog centered around Wizards shooting guard Gilbert Arenas, Orlando Pinstriped Post has learned. What Orlando would send Washington in return for the three-time All-Star is less clear, but the proposed deal likely includes shooting guard Vince Carter, according to a source. Wizards big man Andray Blatche, Magic forward Rashard Lewis, and Magic center Daniel Orton could also be involved. Both teams have a mutual understanding of what the trade might include, the source says, and it's unclear what factors are holding up the trade. What is clear around the league, however, is that Magic President of Basketball Operations Otis Smith has his eye on Arenas. If Orlando is to make a major trade this season, Arenas will likely be the target.
CBS Sports' Ken Berger reported the Magic listened to trade offers regarding Arenas this summer, but rebuffed the Wizards due to concern over the salary remaining on his contract, which runs for three seasons after this one, at a total cost of $62.4 million. In early November, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported "the Magic have cooled on the notion of a Vince Carter-for-Arenas exchange," citing "NBA front-office sources." However, the source who spoke to Orlando Pinstriped Post contradicts Stein's report, saying Orlando has indeed initiated the discussions with Washington of late.
A series of knee injuries limited the former Arizona Wildcat to 15 games between the 2007/08 and 2008/09 seasons, while a suspension for locker-room gunplay, in addition to more knee trouble, held him to 32 games last season. He's played in 13 of the Wizards' 16 games this season, averaging 18.1 points, 4 rebounds, and 5.3 assists while shooting 39.5 percent from the floor and 37.2 percent from beyond the arc.
Smith and Arenas have a longstanding relationship dating back to their days with the Golden State Warriors, where Smith served as the Executive Director of Community Relations and, during the 2002/03 season, Executive Director of Basketball Operations. Golden State selected Arenas with the 30th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft. He won the NBA's Most Improved Player of the Year Award in 2003, averaging 18.3 points, 4.7 boards, and 6.3 assists. He joined the Wizards in free agency that summer, and then re-signed with them in the summer of 2008.
In the Magic's win over Washington last Saturday, Arenas scored a season-high 31 points and shot 14 free throws in what one may fairly term a vintage performance. His game-winning runner attempt, however, glanced hard off the glass.