Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Warriors trade Ellis to Bucks; Howard wants to stay in Orlando

Source : NBA on Yahoo Sports

The Golden State Warriors have agreed in principle to trade guard Monta Ellis and two players to the Milwaukee Bucks for center Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The Warriors will send forward Ekpe Udoh and injured center Kwame Brown to the Bucks as part of a package for Bogut, one of the NBA’s most talented – but also often-injured – centers. The deal will be officially completed later Tuesday night, one executive involved in the trade said.

For the Orlando Magic, who had hoped to acquire Ellis to bolster the supporting cast surrounding All-Star center Dwight Howard, the trade could turn out to be a blow in their hopes of keeping Howard.

Bucks general manager John Hammond was reluctant to move Bogut without the opportunity to get the unhappy Jackson and the $10 million owed him in 2012-13 off his roster. The Bucks had tried to work a three-way deal with Orlando for Jackson, but ultimately the Warriors relented and took back their former forward, who has a checkered history in parts of four seasons with the franchise.

Jackson helped take the Warriors into the second round of the 2007 players when they upset the Dallas Mavericks, but he demanded a trade from the franchise at the start of the 2009-10 season. The Warriors eventually sent him to the Charlotte Bobcats.

Ellis, 26, is averaging 21.9 points and a career-best six assists this season. He and Udoh were in Sacramento preparing for the Warriors’ game against the Kings when they were informed of the trade.

The Bucks intend to start Ellis and Brandon Jennings in the backcourt together.

New Warriors coach Mark Jackson had guaranteed Golden State would make the playoffs this season. With Ellis gone and Bogut potentially sidelined for the rest of the season after fracturing his left ankle on Jan. 25, the Warriors will have trouble meeting Mark Jackson’s goal. They began Tuesday three games behind the Western Conference’s eighth and final playoff seed.

The Warriors will have to give up their first-round pick to Utah this year if they don’t finish with one of the first seven selections.

Source : NBA on Yahoo Sports
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP)—First, the Orlando Magic earned one of their biggest victories of the season. Then Dwight Howard turned the tables on what has been the biggest player soap opera of this NBA regular season.

Minutes after the Magic came back for a thrilling 104-98 overtime victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday night, Howard took back his preseason trade request and said he’s told team officials that he wants to stay with the team for the remainder of the season.

“Well, I told those guys, I’ve been telling them for the past two or three weeks now that I want to stay and finish the season,” Howard said

“I told them I feel we have a great opportunity to win and I told them that I want to be here and I want to bring a championship here. I told them they’ve got to give me that chance. They didn’t trade me at the beginning of the season and I told them I’d go out and play as hard as I could every night to put our team in a position to win.”

Howard had 24 points and 25 rebounds, and Jameer Nelson scored 25 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter and overtime, but the story was what happened after the final buzzer.

Howard said in the preseason that he wanted to be traded, potentially ending a seven-year relationship for the only franchise the 26-year-old, three-time Defensive Player of the Year has known. He has the option of terminating his current contract and becoming a free agent in July.

Now those plans appear to be off for now, on a night when he could have conceivably played his final home game in a Magic jersey.

“We’re third in the East and playing great basketball,” Howard said. “I don’t want to see that slip away. We have to take a chance and I think we have a great chance to surprise a lot of people by winning.”

There’s still a chance the Magic could deal him before Thursday’s deadline, of course, but that would appear unlikely. Now it would seem the onus would shift now to the Magic to bring in players to ensure he won’t leave anyway in a few months.

Howard said his decision has been in the works for a while.

“We’ve been talking for a while,” he said. “I told them that I want to finish this season out and give our team and our fans some hope for the future. I feel they have to roll their dice. It might be tough, but I feel like we have a great opportunity. They’ve got to roll it.”

Howard made sure it was a memorable night for the fan base that seemed ready to say goodbye to him.

It was the eighth 20-20 game of the season for Howard and 40th of his career. It helped the Magic overcome a 14-point, first-half deficit to win their third straight and fifth in six games.

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