Orlando Magic: A Potential 3-Way Trade to Convince Superman to Stay in Orlando

Nicholas HoeftCorrespondent IIIMarch 1, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Eastern Conference All-Stars (L-R) Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic and Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat look on during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center on February 26, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

With reports coming out of Orlando that Magic ownership and management want to avoid trading Dwight Howard before the March 15 NBA deadline, one has to wonder what Otis Smith has up his sleeve.

Smith has to ensure the Magic aren't guilty of committing one of the biggest blunders in NBA history and allow Howard to walk without the Magic receiving any compensation for his departure.

Recent reports around the NBA are that Orlando has interest in Monta Ellis, which is the basis for this trade scenario.

Below is a preview of a theoretical 3-way trade that Orlando can pursue in an effort to convince Superman to stay with the Magic for the long haul.

The trade would involve three teams, two All-Star caliber players, many complimentary pieces, and a few draft picks.

Orlando would receive Monta Ellis ($11M) from Golden State and Jamal Tinsley ($1.2M) from Utah.

Golden State would receive Al Jefferson ($14.0M) and C.J. Miles ($3.7M) from Utah and J.J. Redick ($6.8M) and a 2013 second round pick from Orlando.

Utah would receive Kwame Brown's expiring contract ($6.8M), Dorell Wright ($3.8M), Brandon Rush ($3.0M), Chris Duhon ($3.3M) and Orlando's 2012 first-round pick with Utah's 2012 second-round pick.

Why Orlando Makes Trade:

Simply put, the addition of Monta Ellis makes Orlando a more appealing team to Dwight Howard in the long term.

Superman wants to play with another star and Monta Ellis qualifies in that regard. His aggressive offensive approach and gambling defensive mentality fit well with Howard's game.

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 14:  Monta Ellis #8 of the Golden State Warriors shoots the ball over Tyrus Thomas #12 of the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on January 14, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expr
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

This trade would also allow Orlando to keep most of the team intact around Howard and be competitive immediately and in the future.

Maybe even more importantly, this trade scenario permits the Magic to keep Ryan Anderson, whose game meshes beautifully with Howard and Ellis' styles of play. A combination of Nelson, Ellis and Anderson would give Howard a reason to commit to Orlando for four more years.

Although the Magic wouldn't want to lose Redick or their 2012 first-round pick, management would be foolish to pass on this trade when Ellis could be the missing piece of the Dwight Howard extension puzzle.

Magic gain: Ellis and Tinsley ($12.2M total)

Magic lose: Redick and Duhon ($10.1M) and B. Bass trade exception ($4.3M)

After the trade, Orlando's starting five would be J. Nelson, M. Ellis, H. Turkoglu, R. Anderson and D. Howard with J. Richardson, G. Davis and Q. Richardson as the first three off the bench.

Why Golden State Makes Trade:

This trade would be a big win for Golden State. Not only would they finally move Ellis and alleviate the potential backcourt alpha-dog issues with Stephen Curry, but they would also bring back all-star caliber center Al Jefferson in the process.

Jefferson's low post game would fit beautifully with and complement David Lee's mid-range game, ultimately creating a center-power forward tandem in Golden State that would pair together almost as harmoniously as Howard and Anderson do in Orlando.

Although the Warriors would not want to lose Dorrel Wright or Brandon Rush in any trade scenario, moving Ellis for Jefferson would be worth it.

Golden State would finally move their biggest trade asset for a low post scorer they so desperately need. Moreover, the Warriors would receive J.J. Redick and C.J. Miles in the swap.

Miles would step in as solid replacements for Ellis, Wright and Rush at the wing spots.

DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 23:  Forward Al Jefferson #25 of the Utah Jazz at American Airlines Center on February 23, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consen
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Warriors gain: Jefferson, Redick and Miles ($24.5M) and Orlando's 2013 second round pick

Warriors lose: Ellis, Brown, Wright and Rush ($24.6M)

After the trade, Golden State's starting five would be S. Curry, J.J. Redick, C.J. Miles, D. Lee and A. Jefferson with A. Biedrins, K. Thompson and E. Udoh the first three off the bench.

Why Utah Makes Trade:

Out of the three teams involved, Utah recognizes the smallest immediate gain from the trade. It loses an All-Star caliber player in Al Jefferson and does not receive equal talent in return.

However, not receiving an All-Star player in this deal does not mean that the Jazz are losers (see D. Williams trade). In fact, this trade helps Utah's long-term rebuilding efforts and puts them in place to build a dynasty in the West from the ground up.

This trade allows the Jazz to reduce their payroll for 2012-2013 and pick up an additional first-round pick and other young players in the process.

Utah clears Jefferson from the frontcourt logjam and receives salary cap relief in doing so.

Jefferson's departure also means more minutes for quality young players and possibly even future all-stars such as Derrick Favors, Paul Millsap and Enes Kanter.

Utah would receive the expiring contract of Kwame Brown to backup Favors at the center position for the remainder of the 2012 season.

The Jazz would also receive the short-term deals remaining for Dorrel Wright and Brandon Rush. They could use the next year and a half to evaluate whether Wright is their long term answer at the starting small forward spot and the remainder of the season to evaluate Rush's future with the team.

With all the draft picks and young talent Utah received from New Jersey last year for D. Williams, and with all of the young talent and draft picks it could receive through this trade, Utah would be in a position to completely rebuild the team from the ground up with a core of talented young players similar to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 24:  Dorell Wright #1 of the Golden State Warriors smiles during their game against the San Antonio Spurs at Oracle Arena on January 24, 2011 in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by down
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Jazz gain: Wright, Brown, Duhon and Brown ($16.8M) and Orlando 2012 first-round pick and Golden State 2012 second-round pick.

Jazz lose: Jefferson, Miles and Tinsley ($18.9M) and M. Okur trade exception

After the trade, Utah's starting five would be D. Harris, R. Bell, D. Wright, P. Millsap and D. Favors with E. Kanter, B. Rush, G. Hayward and K. Brown being the first four off the bench.


This trade would be a slam dunk for the Orlando Magic as it would give them the best chance to retain Dwight Howard.

Since Golden State is currently shopping Monta Ellis, a package headlined by Al Jefferson would represent the best return the Warriors could hope to receive for Ellis' services.

Though Utah may be reluctant to pull the trigger on this deal, the addition of more draft picks and young talent to their current roster sets Utah up for sustainable long term success that seems unlikely with Jefferson's contract and the logjam for front court minutes.

Overall, all three teams end up in a better position going forward for the next few years.

Orlando lands Ellis without giving up irreplaceable pieces, Golden State moves Ellis for a true low post talent and Utah clears Jefferson's salary from the books and acquires more young assets for the organizational overhaul.


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