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The Hoop Doctors

NBA Trade Rumors: Does Monta Ellis to Magic Have Legs?

March 13, 2012 – Dan Favale

The Orlando Magic’s scramble to keep Dwight Howard has officially been kicked into overdrive, with the person of interest now being Monta Ellis. But will a deal be struck?

Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD confirmed an earlier report that the Magic were discussing a potential three-team trade with the Hornets and Warriors that would have landed Ellis in Orlando, though he stated “nothing is imminent.”

While Ellis would provide Howard with the high-scoring sidekick he so desperately craves, it’s somewhat difficult to imagine the Warriors shipping out their best player without receiving Howard in return.

Golden State’s owner, Joe Lacob, was described by Sports Illustrated’s Sam Amick as being “Howard-obsessed,” and it seems unlikey the presence of Chris Kaman would change that.

Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group seconded that notion.

From the Contra Costa Times:

Team sources, once again, refute reports that Golden State is considering trading guard Monta Ellis to Orlando for anything other than Dwight Howard. Warriors management has held with that stance even though the latest possibility includes a third team – New Orleans. Orlando, however, is doing all it can to get some help for Howard in a bid to keep him around, as ESPN Chris Broussard reported.

That has been the Warriors stance all along, and while Kaman would add some much needed size and low-post scoring, he’s not the type of player you give up the even higher-scoring Ellis for.

But is Andrew Bogut?

As if the first blockbuster wasn’t enough, another three-team scenario is reportedly being discussed between the Bucks, Magic and Warriors, that would still land Ellis in Orlando, but would compensate Golden State with center Bogut.

From Ken Berger of CBSSports.com:

The Warriors are discussing ways to acquire center Andrew Bogut from Milwaukee as part of a complicated, three-team proposal that would send Monta Ellis to Orlando, multiple league sources told CBSSports.com.

The Warriors would get Bogut from the Bucks and send Ellis to Orlando as part of the Magic’s efforts to persuade Dwight Howard that they are prepared to continue surrounding him with top-flight talent. The Magic are exploring multiple scenarios to upgrade their roster in the hopes that Howard would then relent on his strategy to opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

The oft-injured Bogut provides more of a dominant feel on the inside than Kaman, and more than Andris Biedrins ever could, but that’s when he’s healthy enough to suit up.

The complexity of such a deal can also not be discounted. Golden State would be taking a risk of enormous proportions by dealing one of their most durable players in Ellis for an injury-ridden, currently sidelined Bogut. Such a risk suggests that the Warriors would be receiving more talent in return, but who that is remains to be seen.

Factor in Orlando would likely have to move Hedo Turkoglu to make any deal work financially, and you struggle to find reasons as to why Golden State and Milwaukee would pull the trigger on such an accord.

The framework of both rumored deals has multiple teams bending over backwards to help Howard and the Magic. But why?

Why would a team like the Warriors, who have coveted Howard since the beginning and expressed a willingness to give up top-tier talent to merely rent him, want to actively facilitate his future in Orlando?

It just doesn’t make sense.

So, while the rumors exist, they must be taken with a grain a salt, because it remains to be seen if they actually have any legs to stand on.

Dan Favale is an avid basketball analyst and firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His work can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.

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