Friday, February 20, 2009
TPASTBM reacts to the Rafer Alston Trade
Well, we here at TPASTBM have consensus on viewing the trade for Rafer Alston as a big win for the Orlando Magic. Here are the reactions from some of our contributors:
The Nickel Steak:
It's hard to take seriously the notion that any trade that works on an internet trade checker is seconds from happening, which most of the internet community seems to buy into. But it's the same logic that makes this trade so strange.
The Magic gave up as close to nothing as humanly possible and got a serviceable point guard who was, at the time, starting for a playoff team. He'll be a decent starter for the remainder of the year and he'll give the Magic a very good rotation at the 1 next season when Jameer is healthy. And it cost Brian Cook and a late first round pick, and if the way teams acted at this deadline is an indication, the Magic will be able to buy as many picks as they want this year if they're willing to spend, and if the Magic weren't willing to spend, then the pick had no value anyway.
I still don't understand how this happened.
While Rafer Alston is no Jameer, I love this deal. Replacing Jameer without giving up a core player or taking on a bad contract shows Otis is growing as a GM. Alston is legitimate starting veteran NBA PG who already knows Stan's system. Plus his contract expires next year and is only guaranteed for $2.5 million. So once he gets done helping us continue our goal of competing for a championship, his contract becomes a valuable trade asset this off season should we choose not to keep him as a backup.
I really thought the whole "Otis working the phone" thing was a ploy to make the fans feel like he tried but holy heck was I shocked when he pulled this off. Starting caliber point guards on playoff teams are usually not available at the deadline. I compare my feelings to finding a $20 bill in your pocket a week after washing your jeans. Totally unexpected yet awesome at the same time and always puts a smile on your face. I have more Magic pep in my step this morning and that is a good thing!
The Big Train:
I like this deal, not so much because it puts us once again on the level of Boston and Cleveland, because it doesn't. But rather what it does for this team next year. Jameer will be starting again with Alston as the backup PG... A drastic upgrade over Anthony Johnson. Second, this allowed the Magic to get rid of Brian Cook's contact - a player option of 3.5 million next year - without taking back a drastically larger one (Alston is slated to make $5 million next year). As for the first round draft pick, in a weak draft a late first round pick isn't really a loss. Finally, this does not throw a wrench in the process of resigning Tuck when he opts out this summer. I will miss Adonal though....
Although I am excited about the trade and feel that it should give a boost to this season’s potential, I have to point out the irony that two or our most discussed trade pieces – Keith Bogans and Brian Cook – were both traded for point guards and because of an injury. Many Magic fans were hoping that those players could have been used to add bulk in the frontcourt.
But no one can predict these injuries and it speaks well of Otis Smith that he effectively used those assets to fill a need. We really only sacrificed a low first rounder in a weak draft. Bogans and Cook were likely gone in the offseason anyway.