The talk over the last two days has surrounded the potential of Dwight Howard remaining with the Magic throughout the conclusion of this season and maybe longer and the possibility of the Magic acquiring Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash.
Among many other rumors is the possibility of the Magic acquiring high-scoring guard Monta Ellis from the Golden State Warriors as compensation in a Dwight Howard trade.
Ellis has been mentioned in connection with the Magic several times over the last few seasons, but a deal never seemed realistic. However, earlier this season reports surfaced Ellis, along with Glen Davis, Stephen Jackson and others, was a player Howard would love to play with.
On Wednesday night, Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM reported the Magic were engaged in talks with the Warriors in an attempt to acquire Ellis:
Sources confirm the Magic and Warriors are discussing a trade that would send Monta Ellis to Orlando. Nothing is imminent but talks ongoing
No deal is imminent, but Orlando is trying to add Ellis to its roster in hopes of appeasing Dwight Howard. Rather than aggressively pursuing a trade of Howard before the March 15 deadline, the Magic are desperately seeking a move that will convince Howard he can stay in Orlando.
I’ve never been big on volume shooters like Ellis. Although he’s the league’s seventh-leading scorer, averaging 22.2 points per game, Ellis is posting an effective field goal percentage of just .466% and a true shooting percentage of .517%. For his career, those numbers are .492% and .536, respectively.
The Magic need a shot creator and that’s something Ellis can certainly do, but he’s a player who settles for way too many long, tough jumpers, doesn’t get to the rim all that often and has trouble drawing fouls. Those qualities Ellis lacks are what separates him from the truly elite scorers in the league.
However, I don’t want to be too hard on Ellis – if you’re one of the top 10 scorers in the game, you’re doing something right. Ellis would give the Magic a shot creator and go-to-guy in crunch time, which is something they’ve lacked since Tracy McGrady jumped ship and was dealt to the Houston Rockets back in 2004.
Plus, if a move for Ellis is a move that keeps Howard in town for at least one more season, how can the Magic not pull the trigger?
(Andrew Melnick is the ESPNFlorida.com Magic and NBA Insider, co-host of the ESPN 1080 Insiders Show and publisher of Howard the Dunk. The Insiders Show can be heard Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST on AM 1080 in Orlando and on ESPNFlorida.com. You can follow Andrew on twitter here.)