Will Magic pull trade trigger?
For the past five seasons, before the NBA trading deadline kicked in, the Magic have made deals great and small.
Trade Bo Outlaw for Jud Buechler (2001-02).
Mike Miller for Drew Gooden-Gordon Giricek (2002-03).
Giricek for DeShawn Stevenson (2003-04).
Cuttino Mobley for Doug Christie (2004-05).
Kelvin Cato for Carlos Arroyo-Darko Milicic AND Steve Francis for Trevor Ariza-Penny Hardaway's contract (2005-06).
Will the Magic make another deal?
Doesn't sound like there will be anything major, if you read tea leaves left by GM Otis Smith.
But here are the possibilities:
Grant Hill. Hill has a whopping expiring contract that teams covet, and the Magic likely would let it come off their books unless somebody drops a Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett or Pau Gasol in their laps. Unlikely. Smith has gone on record saying Hill won't be dealt. But that was weeks ago.
Carlos Arroyo. The fiery guard has lost his backup job to Travis Diener and isn't happy. He says he doesn't want to go to his sixth team in six NBA seasons, but the Magic don't want any unrest in the locker room. Arroyo is a class act, but the Magic also have three points guards, counting Diener and starter Jameer Nelson. There likely will be a market for Arroyo, and the Magic need a backup big.
Diener. Travis finally has received his chance but isn't wowing anyone yet. He can run a team, and can shoot the 3, but needs to be in the right situation with the right team. I never thought of this until now -- and maybe it's a conspiracy theory -- but are the Magic showcasing him? Ah, I've probably watched too many Oliver Stone movies.
Darko Milicic. The Magic will only listen to offers because Darko will be a restricted free agent this summer. They can match any deal, but it would take only one team that loves him to blow the Magic budget. It's a predicament. The Magic see Darko's promise and would hate to give up on a 7-1 lefty who can block shots and be handy around the basket. He is essentially in his rookie season after riding the pine in Detroit, but the Magic also see an inconsistent player who, on some nights, looks as if he might never become a star.
Hedo Turkoglu: Hmmm, the Magic love his all-around game, if not his streaky nature. You might get a better player in return for Turk, but not a better character guy.
Keyon Dooling and Keith Bogans. The Magic have a plethora of shooting guards and wing players, needed with Grant Hill in and out of the lineup. One could go.
Pat Garrity. Garrity doesn't get much play at all anymore to show off his shooting stroke. Hard to determine his worth these days but could be a throw-in to a deal.
Tony Battie. Battie was signed to a four-year deal last season, and there's no reason to trade him when you are looking for a big.
Untouchable: Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, Trevor Ariza and J.J. Redick. Redick? The Magic aren't about to deal their lottery pick after the Fran Vazquez draft fiasco in 2005.Unhappy Arroyo: I don't want to go anywhere else
Magic point guard Carlos Arroyo is not a happy camper, but he says he has no plans to ask for a trade. For the time being, he has lost his job to Travis Diener as the backup point guard to Jameer Nelson.
"I'm not thinking like that," Arroyo told me after the Magic lost to the Dallas Mavericks Tuesday night.
"I want to stay here. My feelings are the same as when I got here. I want to help this team win, and I love the support from the Puerto Rican community."
Arroyo discounted a rumor that he had gone on a local radio or TV station and asked the Magic to trade him. Asked if he has suggested to the franchise that the Magic trade him, Arroyo said, "I've never been like that."
Make no mistake: Arroyo is not happy -- a total reversal of fortune since he was traded to the Magic by the Detroit Pistons last season. He played well, became a fan favorite with his Hispanic ties and helped the Magic finish the season with a 16-6 kick.
But a shooting slump and some indecisive play led Coach Brian Hill to bench him as Nelson's backup, and he has not played in three of the past four games.
"I feel like I'm being punished for a bad shooting streak," Arroyo said. "I've never been punished for that. I feel like I've done everything they've asked me to do."
Arroyo, who has played with five teams in his six NBA seasons, has met with Hill several times. "It's his decision," Arroyo said.