One continuing storyline that has kept the Association buzzing throughout the current campaign, is where Orlando Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard will call home after the conclusion of this season. The best center in the current era of the NBA will become an unrestricted Free Agent next summer and has mentioned the New Jersey Nets, the Dallas Mavericks as well as the Los Angeles Lakers as teams that he has interest in talking to. Howard has not ruled out signing up for another tour of duty with his current club, but he has told media members that the team would need to get better in order for him to stay.
Rather than exploring deals that would send Howard to another franchise in exchange for a bevy of young talent, the Magic reportedly has looked into ways of improving the roster around their big man, in hopes they can convince him to stay. Orlando has had problems putting the rock in the hole this season and to rectify their scoring problem the “Oakland Tribune” reported on Thursday that the team has been in contact with the Golden State Warriors to acquire Monta Ellis.
The 26-year-old shooting guard is averaging 22.2 points, 5.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds per contest in 31 games this season. Orlando would have one of the strongest starting back-courts in the Eastern Conference if they could pair Ellis up with Magic point guard Jameer Nelson. It would also stop teams from doubling-down on Howard defensively, as well as increasing scoring opportunities for forward Matt Barnes.
The fly in the Vaseline, is that the Warriors have no interest in any of the Magic players except for Howard, so a third team would have to be involved in any deal. According to the paper, their source stated “We’re not trading Monta unless we get something really good in return. It would probably have to be an All-Star or that caliber of a player.”
Ellis is currently in his seventh season in the Association after being drafted by the Warriors with a second round pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. He fell out of favor with team’s previous owners back in 2008, after he got into a moped accident during the summer, soon after he signed a long-term pact with the club.