Orlando Magic target Lakers guard Lou Williams, Monta Ellis via trade

By @saihoops on
Lou Williams
Dec 2, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lou Williams (23) goes up to the basket against Toronto Raptors centre Lucas Nogueira (92) at Air Canada Centre. USA TODAY Sports / Tom Szczerbowski

The Orlando Magic are targeting a scorer to bolster their offense, per reports, with Los Angeles Lakers guard Lou Williams and Indiana Pacers veteran Monta Ellis emerging as possible trade targets.

After Dec. 15, most of the new contracts (up to 125 players) signed over the summer would become eligible for trades and the Magic are willing to give up assets with hopes to land a potent scorer. 

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the Magic would be willing to part with the likes of Serge Ibaka, Jeff Green, Jodie Meeks and C.J. Wilcox -- who are all in the final season of their respective contracts. They would also be willing to part with C.J. Watson -- whose 2017-18 salary is not fully guaranteed. 

The report also added that centre Nikola Vucevic might be made available via trade. Recently, coach Frank Vogel benched Vucevic in favour of offseason acquisition Bismack Biyombo. Vucevic is one of four Magic players, besides Evan Fournier, Ibaka and Elfrid Payton, who is averaging double digits in scoring. Despite several options on offense, the Magic are looking for a go-to scorers to bolster their playoff hopes.

Ibaka and Green could prove to be valuable options for a championship contender looking for veteran presence. However, teams that trade for them could be hesitant seeing as both players are likely to enter free agency next year. While Green signed a one-year, US$15 million (AU$20.5 million) contract over the summer, Ibaka was traded from Thunder as part of a blockbuster trade that sent Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and rookie Domantas Sabonis to Oklahoma City. 

Lakers hesitant to trade Lou Williams

As of this writing, it’s hard to foresee the Lakers willing to give up Lou Williams, who has arguably been their best player this season. Williams, a former Sixth Man of the Year, has put up a whopping 78 points over his last two games and is averaging a career-high tally of 18.4 points this season.

Ellis, on the other hand, could be acquired, per reports. As reported earlier, the Pacers are open to the idea of moving the veteran two-guard with Basketball Insiders suggesting the Magic as a possible destination. Ellis played under Frank Vogel when the current Magic coach was in Indiana until last season. 

"I know they’d be open to moving Monta Ellis, but I am not sure what he returns. Maybe Orlando? I think they need a flat-out scorer and there is some history with Vogel, but at this point, nothing is there," NBA insider Steve Kyler wrote on Monday.

According to several insiders covering the Lakers, the team is hesitant to trade Williams or any other player since they don't wish to ruin the early chemistry developed under new coach Luke Walton.

Lou Williams is having a career year and could draw the interest of plenty of teams as February's trade deadline approaches. Since Williams has a friendly contract of US$7 million (AU$9.3 million) per season, general managers around the league would be tempted to give up valuable assets to acquire the crafty scorer.