Dwight Howard Trade Rumors: Nets Must Break Bank to Land Star Center
Some thought Howard would consider staying with Van Gundy being fired. Howard and Van Gundy's public feud made a murky season in Orlando even gloomier.
ESPN reporter Chris Sheridan reports on his blog, sheridanhoops.com, that Howard wants out of Orlando either way.
On the day coach Stan Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith lost their jobs with the Magic, a source who has spoken with Howard recently said the All-Star center desperately wants to be traded prior to the start of next season.
And although the Brooklyn Nets are still considered the frontrunner, “it is not going to be a one-horse race,” the source said, listing the Mavericks, Knicks and—to a lesser degree—the Clippers and Lakers as among the destinations that would appeal to Howard.
The Nets have been the considered favorites to land Howard for some time now. Landing Howard will make their transition to Brooklyn easier and give Deron Williams a reason to extend his stay with the Nets for at least a little longer.
Let's look at what Howard would bring to the Nets and why they must make sure he plays in Brooklyn next season.
Howard has won three Defensive Player of the Year awards, been selected to six straight NBA All-Star teams and made five All-NBA first teams.
In short, Howard is a superstar-caliber player with a star-caliber demeanor. He wants the ball, demands attention and pouts when he doesn't get it.
Where will Dwight Howard sign?
Despite his unavoidable pouting and diva mentality, the Nets have to bring Howard's presence to Brooklyn next season.
Howard's ferocious skill on the glass, intimidating shot-blocking presence and brutally powerful low-post moves would fit perfectly with Williams' pass-first mentality.
The Nets were 24th in both scoring offense and defense last season. Howard's presence would bolster both of those areas immediately.
The Nets must do everything they can to make sure he is helping them win next season, and not anyone else.
If the Nets can add Howard and keep Williams, they could have an interesting season. The coexistence of those two stars will absolutely improve their 22-win 2011 season.
What Is It Going to Take?
Howard is an NBA star, meaning he is not going to come cheap.
The Nets will probably have to part with Brook Lopez along with some configuration of Marshon Brooks, Hedo Turkoglu and Damion James. Brooklyn will also have to part with this year's first-round pick and possibly future selections.
Any, or all, of these players are easily expendable. If this is what it takes to get Howard, this is what they must do.
Brooks would be the hardest to part with. He averaged 12-plus points in 47 games this year as a rookie. He has some scoring upside, and the Magic will want him to join their rebuilding effort.
Brooklyn does not have a lot of assets capable of grabbing a player like Howard in a trade scenario. They must put all of their chips into one basket, make the push and make sure Howard brings excitement to their franchise next season.
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