A little over a week ago, the NBA experienced what probably will be considered the year’s highest profile trade between the West’s struggling Phoenix Suns and the East’s seemingly-complacent Orlando Magic.
On the day of the trade, the Magic were sliding fast sitting in 4th place in the East at 16-9 and were 1-5 in their previous 6, while the Suns were hovering around the 8th spot in the West at 12-13 and were 1-4 in their previous 5. Both teams were not living up to expectations of the pre-season predictions of title contenders considering they both exited the playoffs in the conference finals last year.
Being based in Phoenix and having collections in both Orlando and Phoenix stadiums, Sportiqe has taken a vested interest in this blockbuster trade. The trade sent Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark to the Magic in exchange for Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, Mickael Pietrus, a first-round pick and cash. Whether the trade is an overall success or not will be hard to determine until the season’s end because it takes time to rebuild team chemistry, but here’s how it’s panned out so far:
On the surface, the Suns have continued to struggle since the trade, posting a 1-4 record (0-3 with the new players) including embarrassing losses to the Clippers and 76ers. However, Vince Carter, nursing a sore knee, has yet to play and there have been some bright spots: While their numbers haven’t been staggering, it has been reported that the front office is pleased with the toughness and defensive ability displayed by Gortat and Pietrus, which will help in a potential 1v8 seeded matchup against the big-man-filled Lakers in the playoffs. And let’s face it, defense has not been a forte of the Suns for quite some time.
For the Magic, this trade has just been one piece of the puzzle. Shortly after announcing this trade, they sent off Rashard Lewis for the Wizards’ talented but slumping Gilbert Arenas. After losing their first two games with the new crew, the Magic have really grown into their new lineup going 4-0 including wins against the two hottest teams in the league: Spurs and Celtics. Arenas, Turkoglu and Richardson are combining for 34.7 PPG, 11.8 RPG, and 12.3 APG and have revitalized a team that seemed to becoming complacent. The biggest question that remains is whether or not Arenas will continue to accept a backup role to Jameer Nelson after being the star of the show in Washington.
We wish both teams the best of luck and we look forward to see what happens from here!
Sportiqe Magic apparel available both at the stadium and online: Here
Sportiqe Suns apparel also available at the stadium and online: Here