The Orlando Magic will "aggressively" try to acquire Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash prior to the NBA trading deadline on March 15th, reports Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM, citing "multiple sources." Rudolph says he's "not sure" what Orlando could offer Phoenix in order to entice it to part with its franchise player.
Orlando, which entered the All-Star Break with the East's fifth-best record, is hoping to convince superstar center Dwight Howard to re-sign with it long-term when he enters free agency this summer. As analysis from ESPN analyst John Hollinger showed, point-guard play has been the Magic's biggest shortcoming during the 2011/12 season, and that even upgrading to an average player at that position would improve the team tremendously.
Nash is certainly not merely an average player. A seven-time All-Star, Nash currently leads the NBA in assists per game (10.9) while adding 13.9 points on 54.2 percent shooting and 40 percent shooting from three-point range.
Nash, 38, is in the final season of his contract.
Jameer Nelson, the Magic's incumbent starting point guard, has struggled for much of the season, averaging only 9.3 points and 5.3 assists. The one-time All-Star is shooting 39.8 percent from the field and 30.1 percent on three-pointers.
If the Magic are able to swing a trade with the Suns for Nash, it'll be the second straight season in which it'll have made a dramatic trade with Phoenix: during the 2010/11 season, Orlando acquired Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, and Earl Clark from the Suns in exchange for Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, Mickael Pietrus, cash, and a 2011 first-round draft choice.