Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Gilbert Arenas have all been names connected to the Magic at one time or another. And with Orlando struggling and looking more and more likely to make the blockbuster deal to get over the top, the rumor mill is starting to swirl.
So it is just December and a short-term swoon may not necessarily mean the sky is falling. But it did give many Magic fans plenty of pause.
Orlando has seen competitors like Miami and, now, New York burn off a few wins in a row while the team’s offense appears to stagnate and the defense struggles. The calls for Otis Smith to make a trade are getting louder and louder.
Carmelo Anthony appears to only want to head to New York. Any deal involving Anthony will likely require that Anthony commit to signing an extension and he appears only committed to doing that in a very select number of cities. No one knows what to expect from the Hornets now that the NBA has purchased the team. I kind of think that means Paul is not going anywhere as the league hopes to save the NBA in New Orleans and attract any potential new owners.
It probably will not be clear which big-name — or quasi-big-name — players will be available until we get closer to the February trade deadline. At the quarter pole of the NBA season, a lot of teams are still figuring out who they are and whether or not they can make the playoffs (or whether or not it is worth doing so).
One of those teams has to be Golden State. The Warriors have a new owner, a young team that features another small shooting guard in Stephen Curry and a ton of youth. Golden State is somewhere in that limbo.
So it was somewhat to my surprise that around nine o’clock Warriors bloggers at Chris Cohan: Expletive and Warriors World were going back and forth on a potential trade involving Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins. It appears this is all coming from Golden State’s end as Chris Cohan: Expletive assures me that the noise can only be coming from the Warriors as it is just the way they operate. It appears Ellis and Biedrins are very available though.
This is pure rumor.
Otis Smith is notoriously tight-lipped about any potential moves and is not likely to make any brash moves based on a losing streak. A more extended period of losing will certainly get him looking at ways to make his team better. Smith has even said he would be willing to take a step back this season to improve the team in the long-run.
So a move like this certainly is possible. Whether it is actually happening is another issue. Just keep in mind that Smith used to be on the staff with the Warriors so he may be willing to help some friends — that is, if you believe he wants Gilbert Arenas for his personal relationship with Agent Zero.
If the Magic were to acquire Monta Ellis they would get the perimeter scoring threat that many believe they need to compete for a title. Ellis is good on any night to go for 30-40 points. He is averaging 24.3 points per game and shooting 47.2 percent from the floor — very good for a guy who is ultimately a volume shooter.
The question with Ellis is ultimately whether he can play any defense — not exactly something Golden State is known for — or fit into a more structured offense — again, not exactly something Golden State is known for.
Looking to the future, Ellis is owed $11 million for the next three years with a player option on the fourth. So for the offense he can provide, that is perhaps not a bad deal (certainly a good trade-off when comparing him to Vince Carter).
Again, I re-iterate this is purely a rumor. And if Chris Cohan: Expletive is to be believed, it should be noted the Warriors front office likes to float these rumors out themselves and make their intentions in trades known.
Orlando has some pieces that might interest any team — Vince Carter’s expiring contract, Ryan Anderson (a California alumnus) and Marcin Gortat — happy. Not to mention Wednesday is the day free agents from this summer can be traded.
So let the rumor mill turn.