Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
The Golden State Warriors agreed to trade Monta Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night in a deal that has implications on the Orlando Magic's last-ditch efforts to persuade center Dwight Howard to commit to the team long-term. Orlando had reportedly been trying to pry Ellis, the league's eighth-leading scorer and a player alongisde whom Howard said he'd like to play, for weeks before talks between the teams broke down earlier Tuesday. Instead, the Warriors sent Ellis, Ekpe Udoh, and Kwame Brown to the Bucks for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson.
And Milwaukee, by all accounts, has no plans to flip Ellis to another team; according to Adrian Wojnorowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Bucks traded for Ellis to pair him with point guard Brandon Jennings. Also of note: Golden State will not buy out the contract of Jackson, another of Howard's favorite players, according to Yahoo! scribe Marc Spears, meaning the Magic won't be able to add him either.
As a result of the news, Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM believes the Magic will have to trade Howard, lest they lose him for nothing via free agency in July. Rudolph expects the New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Chicago Bulls to express interest in the six-time All-Star.
Wojnarowski reported Tuesday afternoon Howard is "determined" to sign with New Jersey as a free agent.