Is there anything that will convince Howard to stay in Orlando?
The Magic are said to be working around the clock in an effort to convince Dwight Howard to stay long term in Orlando, even going as far giving Superman the power to decide the futures of GM Otis Smith and head coach Stan Van Gundy.
Howard has made it clear that he wants to win a championship, and that move needs to be made if the team is going to contend again.
So who can help coax Howard into staying? Here are a few names.
Beasley would be a great fit in Minnesota.
The second overall pick in 2008 might not have the star power Howard seeks, but Beasley fits Orlando’s system so well it’s difficult to leave him out of the conversation.
Beasley is true inside-out scorer. He can play the three or the four and beat you down low in the post, or take you outside and beat you from the arc or a mid-range jumper. Granted, Beasley would need to lay off his mid-range game a bit if he wants gel with Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy's game plan, which tends to shy away from the low percentage shots .
Selecting Derrick Williams second overall in this summer's draft makes Beasley and his expiring contract expendable. The Magic could easily send someone like Jameer Nelson or JJ Reddick to Minnesota in exchange for Beasley.
Ellis seems to be Orlando's number one target.
His name has surmounted in Magic trade rumors for quite some time now, and perhaps Ellis’ explosive scoring abilities could coax the disgruntled All-Star into staying with the team.
Ellis would provide Orlando with a solid one-two, inside to outside scoring punch with Howard, and could possibly help elevate the Magic back into title contention. Ellis’ deadly mid-range game isn’t exactly ideal for Stan Van Gundy’s system, which stresses three pointers and lay-ups. However, Ellis is also a reliable threat from beyond the arc, as well as being one the nastiest finishers in lane in the league.
Prying him from the Warriors will be a challenge for Orlando, however as the team lacks the talent Golden State wants in return. GM Larry Riley wants a superstar for Ellis, and Howard is the only player on the Magic's roster that fits that bill.
Indy doesn't want to pay the $36 million owed to Granger for the next three years.
The Pacers have been trying to dump Granger’s contract for a while now, and should Orlando have the pieces to entice Indiana, Granger would be a solid fit.
Granger is a formidable scorer with a quick release and accurate shot from long range, and possesses the length and quickness to be potent penetrating and finishing in the lane. He’s a great rebounder and his defense is good enough to get by.
Again, he complements Howard well and would force Superman think twice about fleeing Orlando.
Steve Nash has a great relationship with the Suns, but the team simply can't contend anymore.
It’s depressing watching the 38-year-old Nash waste away on the non-contending Suns, especially when he’s still playing at an All-Star worthy level.
Nash could be the spark in the offense that the Magic intended Jameer Nelson to be when they traded for him on draft day in 2004.
Nash’s drive and dump tendencies would fit perfectly into Van Gundy’s system, penetrating the lane and feeding whatever three point shooters weren’t dealt to acquire him from the Suns catch and shoot opportunities.
Josh Smith is the most intriguing player the Magic could possibly acquire to play alongside Howard.
Smith would give Orlando a vivacious front court paired alongside Howard. Smith is a gifted athlete and one of the best scorers from 15 feet in the league.
Smith is an underrated ball handler, a monster on the boards, a premier shot-blocker and solid pick-and-roll defender. It’d be tough to get anything in the paint with Howard and Smith lurking around the rim. Orlando could instantly find itself amongst the East's elite should it manage to acquire Smith.
It's a long shot at best, but the Hawks do not like Smith's deal and will listen to offers. If the Magic can package something around Ryan Anderson and/or get multiple teams involved, Smith could find himself in blue before the deadline passes.