Orlando Magic: 5 Players to Pair With Dwight Howard
If you want to keep the best big man in the NBA happy, it's this simple: get him some help.
Every since their run to the NBA finals in 2009, the Magic have not been able to find a way back to the finals, most recently being knocked out in the first round. While Dwight Howard had a monster series against the Atlanta Hawks, no one else really stepped up as a number two option for the team.
Orlando lacked last year in assists, finishing in the bottom five, and didn't really score all that well. However, they were one of the best teams in the league defensively, allowing an impressive 93.7 points a game.
So let's look at some possible names to explore if you want to stay contenders.
5) J.J. Barea
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JJ Barea isn't someone who would put up huge numbers in Orlando, but his high energy and crafty ball handling skills would be a great addition.
If the Magic want to keep Jameer Nelson as their starting point guard, I don't think having an ego driven Gilbert Arenas as a backup is a great idea. While Gilbert's large contract would be hard to dump, signing Barea would give their bench a boost that they need and some good championship experience.
4) Glen Davis
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Another route to improving this Magic team would be getting another productive big man to hold down the inside with Howard.
Davis runs the floor pretty well for a guy his size, can knock down a mid range jump shot and will always be one of the first players to make the necessary hustle plays every team needs.
So why not spend a little money to get another player with good size?
3) Jamal Crawford
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While Crawford isn't an All-Star, he is someone who can put up points and would play a significant role in helping out Howard.
With Jason Richardson a free agent, they will need someone that can put up double-digit points a night from the shooting guard position. Plus, if they do decide to keep J-Rich, Crawford is someone who has been a great sixth man for the majority of his career.
Anyway you put it, this team needs scoring.
2) Andre Iguodala
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Iguodala didn't have his best year in the NBA last year, but he helped the 76ers find a playoff spot. He did, however, improve significantly defensively landing a Second Team All-Defensive last season.
If Iggy brought his All-Star potential to Orlando, he would be a guy that could bring a scoring presence and an exciting playing style to the table.
With his name on the trading block, it wouldn't hurt the Magic to explore possible options for the 6'6" high flyer. Maybe Philly has big plans for Evan Turner, but letting Iggy go could be a gem for Orlando's contention hopes.
1) Chris Paul
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Arguably the best pure point guard in the NBA, Chris Paul would be a dream landing for Howard and the Magic.
Not only could he feed the ball inside, but he is a good scorer and an even better defender. Not many teams could put together a better one-two punch than Howard and Paul, and with the right players around them, you could book them as a contender for years to come.
Orlando was terrible last year when it came to racking up assists, so Paul's 10-plus assists a game would be a welcoming factor.
The asking price for Paul would be a lot, and it could be hard for Orlando to put together a package, but would be worth the risk to keep Howard in a Magic uniform.