Otis Smith Says Trade Talks Ongoing as Rumors Swirl

Magic general manager Otis Smith said trade talks with multiple teams, including the Wizards, have occurred but that nothing is imminent as has been reported in the last 24 hours.

Smith said this morning that he would characterize the seriousness of discussions with Washington over a potential deal involving Gilbert Arenas at about an 8 out of 10. Still though, he emphasized nothing is imminent and the team is still exploring and weighing its options.

“I think we talked about this when we went on the West Coast trip was that we were going to evaluate our team,” Smith said. “And we are still evaluating our team. Have we had conversations with a number of teams regarding guys on our roster, of course we have. Do we like losing five of six? Of course not. Yes, there are conversations with a few teams involving a number of players. But there is nothing happening at this point.

Smith said, as far as he knows, everyone who is on the roster and healthy will be available tonight. However, Smith did not rule out anything happening this weekend depending on how things “heat up.” Smith expressed concern more with Arenas’ contract and his health more than his off-the-court issues when asked directly about Arenas.

Smith admitted he has talked with Phoenix quite a bit over the last two and a half weeks among others. The Suns are currently rumored to be part of a three-team mega deal reported by Chris Broussard that would send Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson to Orlando along with Arenas with Vince Carter heading to Phoenix with Marcin Gortat and Rashard Lewis. Smith made no intimation that such a deal was in the works this morning after shootaround.

“My desire is to try and get better,” Smith said. “That’s been the story to give ourselves the best opportuinty to win a title. In order to do that, sometimes you have to get better with the guys you have. Sometimes change is good.

“You have to explore all opportunities that are out there. And if you don’t, you miss the boat on a couple things. We’re not trying to miss the boat. We want to explore everything before we decide to just maintain and move forward or change is needed.”

After dropping five of its last six games, the general consensus is that Orlando needs to make some move to get back into the running for a championship (something they could arguably still be in, just not the way they are playing right now).

It appears though that something is in the works. Whether or not something actually happens is another story. Smith said you still have to be able to forecast where the team is going to be and take a look at what effect a trade may have before pulling the trigger on anything. He said he still believes this team is capable, as constructed, of winning a title. However, the team has not been clicking on all cylinders and has not played to that level at this point.

Smith said he is very open to ideas and is in discussion with many teams. But it is still completely possible that the Magic do not make a move. One thing is for sure, he is not going to make a move just to make a move. Smith will only make a deal if he feels it will push his team forward.

“I haven’t learned how to take steps back,” Smith said. “I don’t think our fans expect me to say, ‘We’re going to take a step back in order to move forward.’ Our objective is our objective. And our objective since the start of the season is to win a championship. As i said, we aren’t playing particularly well so we are doing our due diligence and looking around and trying to get better.”

Several of the media members assembled at shootaround this morning said Smith has not been this forthright with information in his tenure with the Magic. Something to consider. Especially as this Suns deal Broussard is reporting begins to materialize more.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily