NBA Rumors: Why Heat Would Have to Break Up Big 3 for Dwight Howard

T.J. McaloonContributorMarch 13, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Eastern Conference All-Stars (L-R) Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic and Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat look on during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center on February 26, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The dream of Dwight Howard turning the Miami Heat from the “Big Three” into the “Giant Four” would turn into a nightmare for Heat fans, because adding Howard would result in one of the three being traded.

Howard is the biggest trade piece coming into March 15 NBA trade deadline. However, no matter whoever may receive Howard via trade, it doesn’t mean that he will be signing with his new—or old team if Orlando doesn’t trade him—during free agency.

In fact, Howard could be setting himself up to sign with the Heat in the offseason. If that would happen. then the Heat would have to do a sign-and-trade with Orlando which could result in moving one of Miami’s “Big Three.”

According to the Orlando Sentinel, this could be something that works out perfectly for the Magic saying:

If Howard actually decided he wanted to join the Heat, that would be a win for the Magic in terms of the talent the Magic would add to their roster.

The Heat would not be able to give Howard anything more than a mini midlevel exception of $3 million as long as the Heat (if expected) remain in the luxury tax at the end of this season. So, the Heat and the Magic would have to make a sign-and-trade deal, which would mean the Heat would have to give up at least one of their Big Three. One of the Big Three would be a better talent haul for the Magic than any package the Nets could offer on their own.

The piece from the Sentinel goes on to say that they do not think that Howard would sign with the Heat in the offseason. Yet a tweet from Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix says that two sources said that Howard will have interest in the Heat despite cap issues.

If the interest is there from Howard and the Heat, then the question is, which one of the Big Three will be moved for Howard?

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 04:  Dwyane Wade #3 and LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat talk after a timeout against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on March 4, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that
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This interest as to who Miami would have to trade for Howard will be driven to a new height if the Heat do not win the NBA championship this year. If that is the case, then you can expect to hear trade scenarios of Miami possibly moving LeBron James for Howard, or Dwyane Wade for Howard. 

Howard will be the player who is most talked about at the deadline. 

However, the real fireworks could come in the offseason when Howard hits free agency. From there, he could force his way to Miami becoming either another version of the Big Three, or the missing part of the three.