While players like Hedo Turkoglu and Ryan Anderson are having solid and breakout seasons, starting point guard Jameer Nelson is having a down year. He hasn't been the same All-Star caliber player since his injury in the 2008-09 season.
Nelson is more of a scoring point guard and lacks the necessary court vision to be an elite passer. Howard would significantly benefit from the presence of a pass-first point guard who could find him more often in the low post and when he cuts to the basket.
The Magic should take a look at options such as Kirk Hinrich, who is now expendable in Atlanta because of Jeff Teague's emergence. He owns career averages of 13 points per game and just under six assists per game.
Hinrich is coming off a left shoulder surgery but has been a productive point guard over the course of his career. He has good court vision and can create shots for himself and others, as well as help space the floor with his outside shot. He is great in transition and an underrated passer. Where he could help the Magic a lot is the fact that he is not trigger happy and is willing to pass up a shot for a better one.
Hinrich would also be an upgrade on the defensive side of the ball. Nelson struggles on defense, whereas Hinrich has been a solid defender throughout his career, capable of keeping most point guards in check.
The Hawks may demand more for Hinrich, but considering he is coming off an injury and is only averaging five points per game this season, the Magic may be able to acquire his services for nothing more than a second-round draft pick.
They could also include a young prospect such as Daniel Orton or Ishmael Smith in a deal. The Hawks have a surplus of wing players, so they may look to unload Hinrich and his expiring deal.
A move like this could prompt Magic owner Otis Smith to pursue trade options for Nelson as he could return an asset or draft pick from other teams.
Trading for Hinrich would be a step in the right direction for the Magic and could go a long way to convincing Howard to stay a few more seasons in Orlando.
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