Report: Wizards in serious discussions to trade Gilbert Arenas to Orlando

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By Michael Lee
Friday, December 17, 2010; 11:06 PM

The rumor that will never die has regained new life, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the Wizards are engaged in serious discussions with the Orlando Magic to acquire Gilbert Arenas. According to the report, discussions have intensified in recent days, but the parameters of the deal are unclear. But a league source said late Friday night, "It's very close. A really strong possibility."

Arenas has long been rumored to be headed to Orlando, where he would be reunited with friend and mentor Otis Smith. The Wizards spoke with the Magic last summer about making a deal for Vince Carter but while those conversations stalled, they never ended.

After the Wizards lost to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, Arenas privately told people that a deal could possibly be in the works with either Orlando or Charlotte. Word started to spread throughout Verizon Center that evening.

"The Magic realizes they have to make a move. They have to do something," the source said. "It seems like it's about the right time."

Orlando has lost five of its past six games and slipped to second in the Southeast Division behind the red-hot Miami Heat, which has won 11 in a row and will face the Wizards at Verizon Center on Saturday.

Back after serving a 50-game suspension for bringing guns in the locker room around this time last year, Arenas is averaging 17.3 points and 5.6 assists for the Wizards (6-18). He has three years and $62.4 million remaining on his contract after this season. The salaries of Arenas and Carter, who has an expiring deal worth $17.3 million, match up but the source said that the Magic would look to move one or two of their bigger contracts in a trade.

The Yahoo! report mentioned that Magic center Marcin Gortat could be involved. Rashard Lewis is the highest-paid player on Orlando and has two years and $43 million left on his deal after this season. He has also been struggling this season, but any deal for the Wizards would mostly be about parting ways with Arenas, who has been forced to adapt to a different role with the arrival of No. 1 overall pick John Wall.

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis denied an Internet report earlier this month that the team was engaged in trade talks with Orlando. Leonsis also said last month that "Gilbert is not going anywhere."

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