Dwight Howard Trade Rumors: Brook Lopez Shows He's the Best Option for the Magic

John Nizinski@@jniz73Analyst IIIFebruary 29, 2012

With all the trade talks surrounding Dwight Howard, there has been debate on what is the best option for the Orlando Magic. Howard has made it known that he would like a trade because he wants to take his talents somewhere else.

The Magic have yet to deal him and are weighing all their options, including trying to convince Howard to stay. The most likely destinations for the Magic's big man are Dallas, Los Angeles or New Jersey/Brooklyn. 

Howard had originally requested a trade to the Nets, as that was the team that was on top of his list. It even appeared as if the Nets and Magic were ready to complete a deal.

The main trade piece in any deal from the Nets would include their center, Brook Lopez. Lopez has been the cornerstone of the Nets team for the past few seasons and has been one of the best young players in basketball.

He has averaged 18.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game in his career so far. At only 23 years old, he still has areas of his game he can improve and his career numbers could easily increase.

Lopez has missed the majority of this season with a broken foot. He has noticeably gained some muscle mass and size. This should help with his criticized softness and help him become a more dominant threat in the paint.

As the Magic decide whether to ship Howard at the trade deadline, they will look at what they can get in return. The two realistic trade possibilities would be to the Nets or the Lakers. The first article I wrote argued that Lopez is more valuable and a better option than the Lakers Andrew Bynum.

Many see Bynum as the best player that the Magic will get in return. However, Lopez proved he might be the best option with his performance in the Nets' 93-92 win over Dallas on Feb. 28.

Lopez scored 38 points and grabbed six rebounds. What was noticeable was Lopez's physical play in the paint. He also knocked down two big free throws late in the game, which turned out to be the difference in the game.

If the Magic were scouting Lopez against the Mavericks, they had to have liked what they saw. Lopez's versatile scoring was on display and his foot injury seems to be a non-factor and nothing to worry about.