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Magic Trade Deadline Primer – The Rumors Have Begun – Dwight Will Stay, Will Monta Come?

2012 March 1
by Brian Serra

Will Dwight Howard still be in Orlando on March 16th?

Welcome to March 1st. The next 15 days leading up to the trade deadline will be filled with more rumors than you should probably listen to. But as we all know, we as a culture love the “what if” scenarios.

Today is the first day that players who were re-signed in the offseason become eligible to be traded. For the Magic, this includes Glen Davis, Jason Richardson and Von Wafer. 15 days from now, March 15th, this all dies and we go on with 1)Dwight Howard still with the Magic (most likely) 2) A reshaped roster that looks drastically different from today (semi-likely) or 3) The same or slightly tweaked roster that has Orlando sitting in the 3-seed today.

Otis Smith now doubt feels the pressure to make a deal, but the Magic have limited assets to offer. Most teams will want restricted free agent to be Ryan Anderson in any deal involving a “star” and the Magic should be hesitant to include him. None of the names floating out there would return a player to the Magic that fits as well with Dwight than Anderson does.

That leaves Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, J.J. Redick, Big Baby as well as Ryan Anderson as your primary trade pieces with everyone else on the roster available depending on the situation returning to Orlando.

Every person that I have talked to regarding the matter, including sources within the Magic organization think that Dwight Howard will not be traded in the next two weeks. Rich DeVos, the Magic owner, wants the team to fight to the last second to keep Dwight in Orlando and is willing to take the gamble in the offseason of him walking. The theory is that the more time that goes by, the more the franchise can surround him with what he wants to see. At a minimum, they are hoping to get him to not exercise his Early Termination Option (ETO) and return for one more year to give the team time to reshape the roster. Don’t expect Dwight to be traded.

We do know already that Dwight is being consulted on all moves the team is considering. Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD reports that Dwight “has been involved in the decision-making process” as the team has already made a number of calls around the league. Dwight spoke passionately about wanting to be involved in the team decision making prior to the season and cited it as one of the reasons for his desire to request a trade.

Once Alex Martins took over as team President, Dwight began to hear a different tune from the front office as Alex and Dwight talk often about the state of the franchise. Over All-Star weekend they had a long talk about how the “city was on fire” and are clearly keeping their relationship open.

SO HERE WE GO. Two weeks of rumors have already begun. For every rumor there is an equal and opposite rebuttal. Remember that.

The latest rumor reported comes via Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM and who says, “The Magic and Warriors are in trade talks involving Monta Ellis, sources confirmed to RealGM.  No trade is imminent, but talks are ongoing say sources.” Alex Kennedy confirmed the report. Reporters out of the Golden State camp immediately refuted the report saying that Golden State has no interest in trading Monta to Orlando unless that trade involved Dwight Howard. Further, that Golden State would want an “All-Star caliber player in return for Ellis”. Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group has that report.

Dwight has said that he will not sign an extension in Golden State but the Warriors are willing to make the 6-week gamble that they can sell him on the Bay Area.

Wrap Up:

1) It is my belief, based on everything I have heard out of the Magic organization, that Dwight Howard will not be traded in the next two weeks.

2) The Magic want Monta Ellis. Dwight Howard wants Monta Ellis. The Magic will have a tough time doing so unless they severely overpay. Remember, as the deadline approaches so does the sense of urgency to get something done.

3) You will hear so many rumors in the next few weeks, that you will feel like you’re taking crazy pills. Some will be true, some will not. Some will be true when you hear them and then quickly fizzle out. That’s just the nature of the beast. Try to hold on for the ride.

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