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Report: Magic may keep Howard, try to land Steve Nash

Jan 20, 2012, 4:19 PM EDT

Steve Nash AP

More and more, it feels like the Orlando Magic may not trade Dwight Howard — despite Howard’s trade request still being on the table — do what they can to keep him and roll the dice that he doesn’t opt out of his contract and walk away leaving them nothing this summer.

How do they keep him? How about convincing the Suns to throw in the towel on Steve Nash and trade him to Orlando? That’s one option the franchise is considering, reports Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.

The Magic, sources say, remain committed to playing out the season with Howard, perhaps adding a piece to push the team to elite status and hoping that all of it — plus the additional $25 million-$30 million Orlando would be able to pay him as a free agent — will be enough to persuade Howard to stay.

League sources say Orlando has not ruled out making a play for Steve Nash in the event the Suns decided to trade the point guard to a contender before the March 15 deadline. Nash, even at 37 and even on a rental basis, could push the Magic back to the NBA Finals at a time when the Celtics are faltering and the Heat are showing signs of wear and tear.

This is probably about as likely as Eddy Curry making the All-Star team.

First, the Suns have said they would only trade Nash if he asks to be traded and he has said he is not going to ask for a trade. Phoenix is loath to move Nash, while they are not even a .500 team with him right now (5-9) he is loved in the community and there would be a backlash if he were shipped off.

Berger goes on to talk about why the Clippers should consider a Blake Griffin for Howard trade (likely after this season in a sign-and-trade deal), citing the basketball reasons that Dwight is better and a better fit with Chris Paul. I’ll grant him that. But the Clippers are not going to trade Griffin for marketing and business reasons. This was the league’s laughingstock franchise and Griffin changed that on the court, changed the culture in the locker room (goodbye Baron Davis) and is the guy the fans latched on to. He is the face of that franchise, the fans hero, not the best player (that is Paul). The Clippers will not trade Griffin.

That’s where we are with Howard now. The speculation gets wilder as the team sits back doing nothing and Howard just keeps playing — and playing well. But the Magic’s patient strategy runs some big risks, as the Nets can offer him a big deal as a free agent this summer and Howard could walk for nothing. If Dallas can find a sucker to take on Shawn Marion’s deal, they could offer Deron Williams and Howard near max deals.

For now, we wait.

  1. goforthanddie - Jan 20, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Why not try for DWill? At least he’ll be in the league a while. Nash is rolling now, but at some point he’s going to break, and his breaking point would likely come before DWill’s.

  2. generictombradyfan - Jan 20, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    Can’t they amnesty Marion ??

    • wlubake - Jan 20, 2012 at 5:55 PM

      The near max deals would already require them to amnesty Brendan Heywood, whose contract is longer than Marion’s. Marion is a valuable player (though not as valuable as he is expensive). I could see an Eastern Conference contender that wants his defense on LeBron trading for him.

      • wlubake - Jan 20, 2012 at 6:02 PM

        Actually, Heywood’s contract is longer and larger.

  3. stadix093 - Jan 20, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Nash is amazing but he doesn’t really address their FUTURE. Otis Smith should have just signed Hedo the first time. Then he would have only had that contract to amnesty instead of Arenas. Sometimes those dice come up snake eyes. When will NBA GM’s learn gambling is best left in Vegas?

    • b7p19 - Jan 21, 2012 at 11:33 AM

      I haven’t found gambling in Vegas to be terribly productive either.

  4. bozosforall - Jan 20, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Once they make that stupid move, can they then cut Jameer Nelson since they won’t need him anymore? The Lakers would be more than happy to pick him up to help spell DFish and fill their PG void.

    • scooper15928 - Jan 20, 2012 at 6:06 PM

      I think your forgetting something pretty vital. Id the Magic trade for Nash, Nelson would almost definitely be included in it. First of all because he is a fairly large contract that would almost make the deal work, and because the Suns wouldn’t trade Nash without getting a decent point guard back. I’m pretty sure they don’t want Ronnie Price running the point. Stop being a typical laker fan.

    • mytthor - Jan 20, 2012 at 6:52 PM

      Are you suggesting Jameer Nelson would BACK UP Derek Fisher?

  5. isujames - Jan 20, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    that would be stupid if they do because he wants to win and won’t sign with them because there not going to win anything!!!!

  6. 00maltliquor - Jan 20, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    So getting a 37 year old point guard is going to entice Dwight to stick around for 5 more years? Yeeeeah riiiiight!
    After the whole Rashard Lewis contract/ Gortat for Hedo trade/ exchange for Arenas/ Bass for Baby/ Re-signing J Rich at the length and amount…moves in the last few years I’m convinced Magic top brass have no clue as to what they are doing.

  7. chuckj1234 - Jan 21, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    The heat are showing signs of wear and tear?

    • vicktator - Jan 21, 2012 at 7:02 PM

      They’re playing well, but wade’s situation doesn’t look promising.

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