NBA Trade News: Why the Boston Celtics Are the Best Choice for Dwight Howard
If the Celtics want to return to their days of glory, Howard is the obvious answer. With Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen's contracts expiring this summer, they can open up plenty of salary room for the big man.
Since the Orlando Magic are 12-7 and will more than likely make the playoffs with D12, it won't be a surprise if the Magic keep Howard and let him go for nothing in the summer.
Although that's not a wise decision, even Howard thinks that the Magic won't trade him this season.
That being said, his contract will expire and he will become a free agent eventually—and when he does, Boston might be one of the best choices for him.
The one positive attribute the Celtics have that the other teams don't is an elite point guard with a winning coach.
Rajon Rondo paired with Dwight Howard would be an unbelievably scary team. He's a young point guard in his prime who may not have the best shooting skills, but can facilitate an offense with relative ease.
According to head coach Doc Rivers, the Celtics belong to Rondo right now. He has developed into an outstanding leader and could thrive to a greater extent with a superstar like Howard on his team.
Plus, Ray Allen will be 37 years old next year. If he sees Howard coming to Orlando, why wouldn't he take a pay cut to stay with the Celtics? They become an attractive destination for future free agents.
Who wouldn't want to play with a high IQ point guard and a dominating center in a beautiful city?
Finally, Paul Pierce will still be in the mix as the heart and soul of the Celtics. With Howard in the lineup rather than Kevin Garnett, Pierce will be rejuvenated and play at a higher level.
For the Celtics, this makes plenty of sense. They essentially replace Garnett with Howard and become one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
And as far as Howard's wish list goes, this is the most obvious choice.
If D12 goes to New Jersey then he'll be with Deron Williams, which sounds enticing, but do they really have the other pieces to beat Miami in the playoffs?
The Mavericks seem like an attractive option. Dallas is a huge metropolis and the Mavs are winners with a brilliant owner. However, they are a team with plenty of old legs and if they don't revamp their entire roster and go in a younger direction, the chances of them defeating the Heat or Bulls in the Finals diminishes.
And although playing with Kobe Bryant and living in beautiful Southern California sounds like the perfect life, the Lakers still won't have a point guard to win a championship. Derek Fisher is approaching retirement, and who knows if Andrew Goudelock will be in the league in a few years.
The Lakers can always trade Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol for a point guard, but who will they acquire? Derrick Rose signed long-term with the Bulls. Russell Westbrook isn't going anywhere. It's hard to imagine the Nets letting go of Deron Williams.
If Howard goes to the Celtics, they won't have to worry about the Lakers. They'll be bigger than them because they have Howard. Also, the point guard in L.A. who has a chance to stop Rondo doesn't play for the Lakers, so the Celtics will be able to dish it to Howard and make the Lakers use Kobe to beat them. Although the Black Mamba can strike successfully, long-term he can't score 40-50 points in a championship series to beat another team.
It essentially becomes a Heat vs. Celtics battle for the top of the Eastern Conference if Howard calls Boston his home. That's not much competition to get through.
Defeating Miami will be difficult, but that's going to be the case wherever he goes.
Howard's not dumb. He sees this, and that's why he added Boston to his wish list.
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