ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith had the basketball world in shock yesterday when he reported that the Orlando Magic have inquired about possibly sending Dwight Howard to the New York Knicks for Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler. He did acknowledge though that the Magic are denying this rumor is true stating:
As I told you a little bit earlier in the hour, I have some news to report about your New York Knicks. The Orlando Magic, I will preface my statement by telling you that they have categorically denied this, but my sources tell me that they have inquired about Tyson Chandler and Amar'e Stoudemire going to Orlando for Dwight Howard. Let me confess to you that I'm torn. From a basketball standpoint, it would seem you do that trade in a heartbeat. You don't teach seven-feet and you don't teach the dominate and the skills that Dwight Howard has. But I like Tyson Chandler. I like the fact that he rebounds and defends.
If this is in fact true, the Knicks need to make getting Dwight Howard their top priority, but not at the Magic’s current asking price.
Howard has made it very clear that he is not planning on re-signing in Orlando when his contract runs out this offseason. For this reason the Magic would be foolish not to lower their asking price, instead of losing Howard for nothing.
During last offseason, the Magic were determined to trade Howard before the season started for this very reason. The majority of the league sent them offers, but they were unable to come up with a deal they felt was sufficient.
The offer that came the closest to happening was with the New Jersey Nets. It was even reported at one point that Howard had requested a trade to the Brooklyn-bound Nets.
The trade was supposed to be Brook Lopez and two first-round picks going to the Magic with Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkoglu going to the Nets in return.
Unfortunately for the Nets, the Magic were suspicious that Dwight Howard had a secret meeting with Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and general manager Billy King in Miami, so they considered filing tampering charges against the Nets and the trade fell through.
Since that point, trade talks for Howard have significantly quieted down. You have to assume this means they haven’t received an offer that they liked as much as the one the Nets were offering.
I believe for this reason the Knicks may be able to acquire Dwight Howard without giving up both Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler like the Magic originally asked.
The Knicks should counter the Magic’s proposal with an offer like Amar’e Stoudemire, Landry Fields and a first- and second-round pick.
If the Magic were ready to accept the Nets offer, they should definitely be more satisfied with Stoudemire instead of Lopez and the rest of the deal is pretty similar.
Unlike the Nets offer, adding STAT and Fields to the Magic’s current roster would certainly keep them towards the top of the Eastern Conference, while still providing them the youth and draft picks they are looking for.
For the Knicks, getting Dwight Howard would be the easiest solution to their obvious defensive struggles.
I know Chandler and Howard don’t really compliment each other as well as STAT and Chandler do, but having the two big men who focus on defense and rebounding would certainly improve the Knicks team.
It would also be very hard to pass up on teaming possibly the best scorer in the league with the best defender in the league, regardless of how else the rotation plays out.
It will be very interesting to see how the Dwight Howard situation plays out as the trade deadline nears.
If the Knicks can properly use the slight leverage they have over the Magic, they can possibly turn their awful star around very, very quickly.