In an effort to placate Dwight Howard, the Magic have made a widely publicized pursuit of Golden State Warriors star Monta Ellis. While adding Ellis might seem like an upgrade offensively to Orlando’s roster, it wouldn’t be enough to get the Magic over the championship hump.
Averaging 21.9 points per contest this season, Ellis is a bona fide scoring threat, but lacks the well-rounded championship caliber to elevate Orlando amongst the elite teams in the NBA.
Ellis' defensive game has more holes in it than Spongebob, particularly his effort (or lack thereof) and spacing (provides more cushion than Ikea). Teams that perennially contend for championships simply don’t showcase players that are erratic on the defensive end. Trading for Ellis would only further cripple the Magic’s championship hopes.
And while he is renown for his explosive ability to penetrate the lane as well as deadly mid-range jumper, Ellis’ big numbers often times come as a result of hoarding offensive possessions. Ellis tends to work out of isolation situations, and often times settles on cheap outside contested jump shots for points.
Don't let Ellis' assists numbers fool you. While he averages six per game, they usually come as the result of desperate passes out of isolation or on last ditch efforts on contested lay-ups around the rim. While Ellis tends to control his turnover ratio despite consistently passing out of these high risk situations, he is far from a Steve Nash in terms of driving and dumping.
Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy predicates his offense on the three-point line and points in the paint, so if Ellis were to move to Orlando, one of his biggest strengths would theoretically be stripped from his game.
Adding Ellis would most likely send key role players like Ryan Anderson, JJ Reddick and Hedo Turkoglu packing their bags for Oakland, which in the long-run would hurt both teams. The Warriors would acquire a handful of pieces they don’t really want, while the Magic would lose three three-point threats who have proven to be very effective in Van Gundy’s system. Golden State seems to be already discerned at that Magic’s ploy for Ellis.
No move might be the best move for both teams, at least not with each other. The Warriors are dead set on acquiring a superstar in exchange for Ellis, so unless Magic GM Otis Smith wants to unleash his clutches on Howard—it most likely isn’t going to happen.