MIAMI, (Reuters) – The Orlando Magic underwent a stunning transformation with a pair of blockbuster trades yesterday, acquiring Washington Wizards’ troubled All Star Gilbert Arenas along with Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson.
The three-team deal saw the Magic ship forward Rashard Lewis to Washington for Arenas while moving Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus, Marcin Gortat, a 2011 first round draft pick and $3 million to the Phoenix Suns for Turkoglu and Richardson.
Washington had long been expected to offload Arenas, who had an expensive contract and had pleaded guilty in January to felony weapons possession for bringing four guns into the team’s locker room.
“This trade allows us to continue to rebuild around our core group of young players and provides financial flexibility as we move forward,” Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said in a statement.
“We’re thrilled to have been able to accomplish those goals while also getting back a two-times All Star in Rashard Lewis, who brings us versatility, three-point shooting and a veteran presence.”
Arenas, whose contract is worth around $62 million over the next three years after this season, heads to Orlando after spending seven-plus seasons with the Wizards.
The 28-year-old guard, who spent the first two years of his NBA career with Golden State, averaged 25 points and 5.7 assists with the Wizards.
“When we re-signed Gilbert prior to the 2008-09 season, we envisioned a level of team success that we unfortunately were not able to achieve due to injuries and other factors beyond our control,” said Grunfeld.
The 31-year-old Lewis, in his 13th NBA season, has career averages of 16.5 points and 5.6 rebounds for the Seattle SuperSonics and Orlando Magic.
The trade is a homecoming of sorts for Turkoglu, who had spent five seasons with the Magic helping them reach the 2009 NBA Finals, before signing with Toronto as a free agent.