NBA Offseason Acquisitions: 5 Ways for Orlando Magic to Keep Dwight Howard
Orlando Magic superstar center Dwight Howard's contract will run out next season. That leaves the Magic in a dicey position, as they likely have to add some pieces around him so that he stays or trade him and get something back.
The Magic currently lack a complementing star to go along with Howard. Howard has said he likes playing for Orlando, but everyone likes to win, and if the Magic don't add a big name, he will probably look to sign elsewhere when he enters the free-agent market.
There have been some rumors of what big-name players could end up going to Orlando. Here are five possible ways that the Magic could end up keeping their All-Star big man.
Dwight Howard has more or less been the focal point of the Magic offense since his rookie year back in 2004. That could change if they were able to add point guard Chris Paul, currently of the New Orleans Hornets.
Orlando would have to give up a lot to get Paul, but it would be worth it. A large package such as point guard Jameer Nelson, power forward Ryan Anderson or Brandon Bass, future picks and cash considerations would probably be the minimum.
Paul is not only one of the best players at his position, but one of the best players in the entire league. He has that rare ability to make everyone else around him better, and he remains humble.
Last season, Orlando acquired Jason Richardson from the Phoenix Suns. It seemed like a good trade at the time, but the Magic quickly learned that Richardson was not the same player without Steve Nash.
Small forward Andre Iguodala of the Philadelphia 76ers would be a better fit for the Magic. He not only knows how to get his own shot, but he is also a very good passer.
Iguodala has been the subject of trade rumors for quite some time now, so Orlando might not have to break the bank to get him. Something along the lines of Richardson and Bass for Iguodala could land the talented point forward.
A possible trade for Ellis would involve Richardson going back to the team that drafted him back in 2001. The Magic would also have to add at least another player as well, maybe J.J. Redick.
This particular trade would give Orlando a formidable backcourt. Both Nelson and Ellis are very good slashers who would put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses.
A trade involving Atlanta and Orlando could actually be good for both teams, making it very possible that forward Josh Smith could end up playing alongside Howard.
One of the trade rumors going around is the Hawks sending Smith and Marvin Williams to the Magic for Nelson, Hedo Turkoglu and future draft choices.
A Smith/Howard duo would make the Magic one of the best defensive teams in the game. The two are among the top shot blockers in the game on a perennial basis, and their athleticism would be tough to match up against on a nightly basis.
Free Agent Pool
The right free agent signings could also go a long way in keeping Howard in Orlando. It would probably take at least a couple of savvy moves though to shake up the roster enough.
Two players that Orlando could look to add are JR Smith and Andrei Kirilenko. If they were able to get both guys, they would significantly fix the problems that their current swingmen have.
Smith has shown flashes of huge play-making ability in his career with Denver. He has never really been fully unleashed, but could have that opportunity in Orlando.
Kirilenko would give the Magic a much-needed perimeter defender, someone who can guard the likes of LeBron James and Paul Pierce.