Monta Ellis to Orlando Magic? An Intriguing Scenario to Keep Dwight Howard

Mark Scacewater@ScaceH20Analyst IMarch 2, 2012

The rumor mill has been flying the past few days about the Orlando Magic making a last-ditch effort to appease Dwight Howard by acquiring Golden State Warriors guard Monta Ellis

Due to a lack of attractive assets beyond Howard, the Magic have little to entice the Warriors with. Perhaps the most available attractive player on the Magic Roster is forward Ryan Anderson, but he might be the second most valuable player on the Magic roster thus far.

The Warriors need a quality big man, and there just happens to be one available in New Orleans. Yes, Chris Kaman is older than many young up-and-comers, but he is a proven commodity that could help the Warriors should they move Ellis.

Assuming a three-ream trade is the answer, here are the parameters around which the trade could work with the Magic keeping Anderson. Note that Orlando would be giving up quite a bit, while probably still losing Howard at the end of the season.

(Stats provided by (Salaries taken from 

Orlando Magic to Golden State: G J.J. Redick $6.5m (11.1 PPG), F Glen Davis $6.3m (7.4 PPG), C Daniel Orton $1.1m (1.0 PPG), Future First Round Draft Pick (Protected)

Golden State to Orlando Magic: G Monta Ellis $11m (22.2 PPG) 

New Orleans to Golden State: C Chris Kaman $14m (12.0 PPG) 

Orlando Magic to New Orleans: PG Jameer Nelson $7.3m (9.6 PPG)

New Orleans to Orlando Magic: PG Greivis Vasquez $1.1m (8.4 PPG), C Emeka Okafor $12.5m (9.9 PPG)


Golden State to New Orleans: C Andris Biedrins $9m (2.2 PPG), C Kwame Brown $7m (6.3 PPG), G Brandon Rush $3m (8.4 PPG) 

The salaries work out, so here is who gets what along with cumulative salary:

Orlando Magic: Monta Ellis, Greivis Vasquez, Emeka Okafor  ($25.6m)

Golden State: Chris Kaman, J.J. Redick, Glen Davis, Daniel Orton, 1st Round Draft Pick ($27.9m)

New Orleans: Jameer Nelson,  Andres Biedrins, Kwame Brown, Brandon Rush ($26.3m)

Why Would the Magic do this trade? Simple. They want Ellis, and they add a former number 2 overall pick in Okafor, a serviceable big man. They lose Redick, but you do not need J.J. if you have Ellis and Richardson. The draft pick they lose (if recent history is any indication) is probably worthless anyway (see Fran Vasquez, Orton, etc). The Magic are in desperation mode as March 15 approaches, and this trade would certainly shape things up in O-town.

Why Would the Warriors do this trade? They are bad right now. Better defensively this season, but bad overall. They are currently not in the playoff picture, so mixing up the roster cannot hurt. Coach Jackson would add a starting center (Kaman), a guy in Redick who may thrive with Curry (albeit providing defensive liabilities galore for the Warriors backcourt), a project in the 6'10 Orton, a draft pick, and cap relief (Kaman's $14 million comes off the books).

The Warriors might be more excited about what they are giving up than what they are getting. Ellis is good, even spectacular at times, but he can best be described as mercurial. The motorcycle accident on the heels of a $66 million extension never boded well for Monta. Biedrins could use a fresh start, and Kwame Brown has always been stuck somewhere between subpar and terrible.


Why Would the Hornets do this trade? You have to look at what they are getting. First off, Nelson. He is a decent point guard at a reasonable price, and you can count on losing Eric Gordon after the season. Kaman is gone anyway, so why not acquire some more pieces in the aftermath of the Chris Paul trade? Brandon Rush is a former lottery pick, and he can compete for the shooting guard position. Biedrins is on the books through 2014, but seven-footers don't grow on trees. Maybe he can improve under the tutelage of Monty Williams. Brown and his $7 million expire at season's end, so there is some cap incentive for the league-owned Hornets to approve this deal.

Let's assume for a minute this trade goes through...

The Magic now need a point guard, and they will immediately go after Steve Nash. But again, there is little to not only entice Phoenix, but Ryan Anderson makes just a hair over $2 million while Nash makes over $11 million. But let's not jump ahead of ourselves. If Ellis can be a scoring point, a la Russell Westbrook, the Magic will be just fine. 

Projected Starting Five's POST-trade


PG: Monta Ellis

SG: Jason Richardson

SF: Hedo Turkoglu 

PF: Ryan Anderson

C: Dwight Howard 

First Sub: Emeka Okafor



PG: Stephen Curry 

SG: J.J. Redick

SF: Dorell Wright

PF: David Lee

C: Chris Kaman 



PG: Jameer Nelson

SG: Eric Gordon

SF: DaJuan Summers

PF: Carl Landry  

C: Andres Biedrins 

Bottom Line: Each team benefits from this trade. While the Hornets and Warriors might not see immediate improvement, the long-term cap relief for both teams will allow each to be a major player in the free agent market for years to come.

Will this be enough to convince Dwight to stay in Orlando? Only time will tell.


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