Are you ready for a light show that will eclipse Disney’s?
The New Jersey Nets’ Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson have been traded to the Orlando Magic for Rafer Alston, Tony Battie and Courtney Lee.
You knew the Magic were going to move Rafer. One: Jameer Nelson, their injured All-Star point guard, will be 100% healthy on opening day. Two: if the tail-end of the Finals were any indication, Rafer would have gotten absolutely no burn next season had they kept him. Three: Rafer’s a solid veteran rotation player with an expiring contract. But I did not expect they would get Vince-freakin’-Carter.
If the Magic are able to lock Hedo Turkoglu, can you imagine how much firepower their starting five will have?
Nelson will be running the offense. Vince and Rashard Lewis will be near the wings. And Dwight Howard would lock down the paint. This is a recipe for success especially if Dwight Howard develops some semblance of a post-game or at least a countermove.
A major acquisition by a team fresh off a Finals berth bucks the recent trend. It is a bold move by Magic GM Otis Smith but I think it’s ingenious.
Generally, Finals teams sit on their rosters during the next summer. They may pick up a player with a mid-level contract but they have not made any huge splashes. After their recent Finals appearances, the Heat, Mavericks, Spurs, Cavs, Celtics and Lakers all sat on their hands during the summer. With the exception of the Lakers, none of the other teams really had enough potential to get better with their transactional inertia.
Losing Courtney Lee is a marginal loss because Mickael Pietrus is still around to provide solid defense and can hit system-created 3-pointers. Losing Tony Battie is also a marginal loss because of Marcin Gortat’s wonderfully-adequate defense and rebounding.
It’s a huge win for everyone on the Magic and it finally gives Vince Carter a real opportunity to silence his doubters. He can follow in the footsteps of Kevin Garnett and shed the erroneous “loser” label like a Jonas Brother stepping into a middle school. I’ve got my Mickey Mouse ears on and I’m ready to go.