I won't bore anyone with a long write-up in this article. I will simply list what I feel is the most realistic trade possibility ever created to land both Dwight Howard and Deron Williams on the Los Angeles Lakers, along with an explanation as to why each team would agree to such a deal.
Such a trade would look as follows:
Lakers Trade: Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, Steve Blake, future No. 1 pick and $3 million cash
Lakers Receive: Dwight Howard and Deron Williams
The above trade is an absolute no-brainer for the Lakers franchise. Wise Lakers fans seem to be contemplating whether trading Pau for a host of solid role players would be better than merely swapping him for one superstar, as the team is in dire need of an influx of youth and depth.
I myself see the wisdom in such an idea and do believe the Lakers would also be vastly improved if they were to trade Pau to a team like the Rockets for Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, the Rockets lottery pick and the Knicks number 16 pick in the draft. In fact, even trading Gasol for two lesser stars such as Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap of the Jazz or Andre Iguodala and Thad Young of the 76’ers could bring great improvement to the Lakers.
The fact of the matter, however, is that Los Angeles is not the City of Angels but the city of superstars. The vast majority of Lakers fans want and expect the team to receive a superstar in return for Pau Gasol, not mere depth or two lesser stars.
If Lakers brass pull off the above trade, they could still add a few talented players to their roster on veteran minimum contracts. Such players include Lamar Odom, Elton Brand (who I expect the 76ers to amnesty before the start of next season in order to have the funds necessary to re-sign both Lou Williams and Spencer Hawes), Antawn Jamison, Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady and others.
This would give the fans their superstar and the franchise the depth they so sorely need.
Chances the Lakers would agree: 100%
Magic Trade: Dwight Howard
Magic Receive: Andrew Bynum, Steve Blake and the No. 16 pick
The Orlando Magic should have traded Dwight Howard before last year’s trade deadline rather than prolonging their own agony and torture that comes from having the face of the franchise anything but truly invested in the team’s future success. Orlando cannot afford to start next season with Howard still on the roster and must get as much as they can for him immediately.
Trading Howard for anyone other than LeBron James or Kevin Durant does indeed mean the Magic will not truly be receiving “fair market value” for their young Superman. However, business is business and at times, the best course of action is to cut ties and move on, even if you have to take a slight loss.
Receiving a package of Andrew Bynum, Steve Blake and the No. 16 pick in this year’s insanely deep draft is indeed a solid return on investment. Bynum will give the Magic a new face of the franchise and a more developed offensive center than even Howard was. Steve Blake is a solid veteran point guard and great locker-room guy who also has a very reasonable contract, an absolute rarity for the horribly mismanaged Orlando franchise.
The No. 16 pick could be an absolute godsend for the Magic as well, as they could use it to draft another solid player such as Washington’s Terrence Ross. They could even package the pick with their own No. 19 selection to move up and draft the most talented point guard in the draft in Damian Lillard or a young potential superstar like Tracy McGrady-clone Perry Jones III from Baylor.
Chances the Magic would agree: 95%
Nets Trade: Deron Williams (sign-and-trade)
Nets Receive: Kyle Lowry, Luis Scola and Patrick Patterson
Brooklyn is bumming right about now. The former New Jersey Nets have been plagued with absolutely horrible management for years and their fans have suffered more than anyone due to the front office’s ineptitude.
If the Nets lose Deron Williams for nothing, watching him walk out the door and sign a contract with Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks, Nets ownership may be lucky to record even one sellout next season. Fans don’t like to support abject losers—they’re funny that way.
The Nets traded away the farm to acquire Deron Williams, knowing full well that there was no guarantee he would ever sign a long-term extension with the team. They also traded away their lottery pick in this year’s amazing draft, a pick that could have landed them a future superstar, for a half-season rental of Gerald Wallace
Gerald Wallace! Failure doesn’t get any clearer than that.
Perhaps the only hope the Nets have of saving their franchise sooner rather than later, packing out their Brooklyn arena and bringing hope to their fans is to trade Deron Williams now and receive a king’s ransom for the superstar point guard many consider to be one of the top three point guards in the world.
While the Nets may not be able to swap Williams for an equal superstar, trading him for a package of All-Star-level players and young talent may be the next-best thing.
Having said that, if the Nets could receive young star point guard Kyle Lowry, solid veteran starting power forward Luis Scola and talented young power forward Patrick Patterson, they may not only appease their fanbase, but actually improve their team!
Chances the Nets would agree: 75%
Rockets Trade: Kyle Lowry, Luis Scola, Patrick Patterson and the No. 16 pick (from Knicks)
Rockets Receive: Pau Gasol, future Lakers No. 1 pick and $3 million cash
The Houston Rockets offered an enormous package of talent for Pau Gasol in last season’s “Chris Paul fiasco” and most believe the Rockets would still love to get their hands on the multi-talented big Spaniard.
With Kyle Lowry recently all but demanding an immediate trade due to perceived issues with head coach Kevin McHale (according to the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen) and the Lakers seemingly intent on trading Pau Gasol while they can still receive top value for him, the above trade seems like a match made in heaven for the Rockets—period.
Chances the Rockets would agree: 99%
The above four-team mega trade could be agreed to in principle completed before the NBA draft even takes place. I honestly believe once good ol' Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and Rockets GM Daryl Morey view this trade proposal, the phones of all four of these teams will be ringing off the hook...it's deal time!