Positive Reactions from a Magic Perspective:
- John Hollinger (Insider) says the deal makes sense for the Magic for two reasons. However, since I am not an Insider subscriber, I can't specify what those reasons are.
Wish I had more to tell you on this one. I trust Hollinger's analyses... usually.
Negative Reactions from a Magic Perspective:
- Believing in Magic:
I'm not sure if it's a bad deal yet, so it's certainly not in Varejao-and-Gooden-for-Battie territory.
- The Howeva Files:
Rated R for language.
Positive Reactions from a Laker Perspective:
- Brett Edwards at FanHouse, regarding Brian Cook:
- Forum Blue and Gold:
This trade strikes me as a win for the Lakers, I’ll miss the consistency of Evans but this is Sasha [Vujacic]’s chance to show that he is ready to be Kobe [Bryant]’s backup (and his last chance to prove it).
By all accounts, Vujacic is a terrible player, so if the Lakers are okay with giving him major minutes if it means dumping Cook... that says a lot about Cook.
Negative Reactions from a Laker Perspective:
Further Details on Cook and Evans:
Kurt from Forum Blue and Gold was kind enough to pass along insight about Cook and Evans via email. Here's what he wrote:
On Cook and Evans, well, let’s start with the better half of the deal for you. Evans is a good, solid NBA backup two guard. He’s got a nice jumper and can hit the three if you give him a little room (35% career three and 36% last season). He’ll also give you a spectacular dunk or two this season, he’s more athletic than his game shows. He’s a good defender and plays well within a team system. Really, just a professional guy off the bench who has thrived in Detroit and in LA this year as part of a strong group off the bench.
Brian Cook is the Lakers fans whipping boy this season, and fans see his departure as a matter of addition by subtraction. On the bright side he can shoot the jumper and from three — it’s an ugly flat shot but he hit 40% from deep last year. Now, if you expect him to do a lot of rebounding, well, you’re out of luck, he gets some because he’s tall (5.7 per 40 minutes so far this season) but his heart isn’t in it. On defense you might as well put an orange traffic cone out for the opposing team to dribble around. Sorry for the pessimistic look, but maybe if your expectations are low he’ll look better in the uni.
In a second missive, he writes:
One of my commenters, George, made a good point about Cook I’ll pass along:
I think Cook might fare a bit better in Orlando with Howard getting all the attention down low. Originally, he was drafted to play alongside Shaq, so I guess one can draw a comparison in the scenarios.
Also, Cook got a bad rap because he and Vladamir Radmanovic were basically competing for the same role, but Radman has a much more rounded game (he can put the ball on the floor, Cook can’t). I hope this works out for you, I really like the core of the team they are building down there.
Indeed, the Lakers got the better end of the deal, shedding salary while simultaneously bringing in better talent. But lost in all this pessimistic talk from Magic fans' point of view is that Ariza wasn't working in Stan Van Gundy's offense. It's not about having the most raw talent on your team, but rather about having the most talent that fits into the system you're trying to implement. Since Cook and Evans shoot threes well, and since Ariza doesn't, the trade doesn't look too bad. We'll see how it works out.