Bogut trade could hinge on Dwight

The Warriors are discussing ways to acquire center Andrew Bogut from Milwaukee as part of a complicated, three-team proposal that would send Monta Ellis to Orlando, multiple league sources told CBSSports.com.

The Warriors would get Bogut from the Bucks and send Ellis to Orlando as part of the Magic's efforts to persuade Dwight Howard that they are prepared to continue surrounding him with top-flight talent. The Magic are exploring multiple scenarios to upgrade their roster in the hopes that Howard would then relent on his strategy to opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Howard remained noncommittal about his future plans Monday, despite the Magic's latest efforts to appease him, sources said. While it's unclear whether Orlando executives have set a hard deadline to get an answer from their star center, league sources believe the Magic need to get some direction from Howard by Wednesday or will move forward with the next phase of their strategy -- deciding whether to trade him or keep him beyond Thursday's trade deadline and hope he has a change of heart in the summer.

The Rockets also had been pursuing Bogut in what would've been a less complicated, two-deal deal with Milwaukee with many scenarios discussed. But a person involved in the discussions told CBSSports.com early Tuesday that Houston has backed away from the Bogut talks to pursue another deal. A second source said that deal did not involve Pau Gasol of the Lakers, whom the Rockets have been eyeing since their three-team trade sending Gasol to Houston and Chris Paul to the Lakers was rejected by commissioner David Stern, acting as owner of the New Orleans Hornets, in December.

Milwaukee also has discussed various trade scenarios with Washington for Bogut, but while that would be another acceptable destination to the 7-foot Australian, the Wizards' overtures thus far have been shot down. Washington, however, could re-enter the fray depending on how the complicated possibilities with Golden State, Orlando and Houston play out over the next 48 hours.

Efforts to engage the Warriors with the Bulls and Lakers in trade talks for Ellis have been unsuccessful, multiple sources said Monday. What the Bucks would receive in a three-team scenario with Golden State and Orlando is still under discussion -- as is what the Magic would surrender.

Bogut, 27, has been out since Jan. 25 with a fractured ankle but indications from doctors are that he could return for the postseason if he were on a playoff team. The Bucks (18-24) are tied with the Knicks for the eighth playoff spot in the East, a half-game ahead of Cleveland. It has been reported that Bogut has requested a trade, but neither Bogut nor his representatives have commented publicly on the matter.

The most difficult aspect of Bogut going to Golden State in the three-team scenario that would send Ellis to Orlando is Howard's apparent reluctance to commit one way or the other by Thursday's 3 p.m. ET deadline. Even if Howard decided he wanted to stay in Orlando, it's likely that he would opt out of his $19.5 million contract for next season anyway and test free agency, when he could get a five-year deal from Orlando as opposed to a four-year deal with one of his top two choices, the Nets or Mavericks.

 
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