Replacing a superstar is nearly impossible. They have intangibles that separate them from a basic All-Star quality player, like a Chris Bosh, for example.
Superstars, guys like Howard and LeBron James, don't grow on trees. It's impossible to get a player of equal value for a superstar in a trade. No one wants to trade a superstar if they have one because they are so rare.
But if the superstar gives the impression that he is going to leave when he becomes a free agent, the franchise has to trade him for something, or they will ultimately end up with nothing.
Unlike the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Denver Nuggets traded their superstar before he fled for free agency. In return for Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman, the Nuggets received Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, the Knicks' 2014 first-round draft pick, the Warriors' 2012 second-round pick, the Warriors' 2013 second-round pick and $3 million in cash.
The trade has worked out well for the Nuggets. So far this season, the Nuggets are 14-7. That's good for third place in the deep Western Conference.
The Magic don't look like a title contender, especially as of late, losing six of their last eight games. With Howard already halfway out the door, who can the Magic acquire to replace him?