Dwight Howard: 5 Ways New Orlando Magic GM Rob Hennigan Can Appease D12
New Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan has his hands full right off the bat in his new job.
He inherits a team that is over the salary cap for next season at $65.7 million. He must plug a lot of holes before the Magic are ever considered title contenders.
But most importantly, Hennigan must decide what to do with disgruntled superstar Dwight Howard, as a decision on Howard's future will likely be made during the offseason.
Naturally, Hennigan would like to keep Howard in a Magic uniform, but in order to convince him to stay, here's five things he needs to do.
Let Howard Pick Next Head Coach
The relationship between Dwight Howard and former head coach Stan Van Gundy led to a lot of the drama in Orlando last season.
If the Magic have to allow Howard to handpick his own head coach, then so be it.
Whether it be Brian Shaw, a veteran like Nate McMillan or someone else, if Howard wants him, then hire him.
Re-Sign Ryan Anderson
The NBA's Most Improved Player is a restricted free agent and a guy that Rob Hennigan should try and lock up before he hits the market and the price gets driven up on him.
Ryan Anderson averaged 16.1 points and 7.7 rebounds on the season and proved valuable as someone that can really stretch the defense.
Hennigan must be careful not to overpay for someone with Anderson's skill set, but he does have value for this Orlando team.
Clear Cap Space
Rob Hennigan walks into over $40 million in salary tied to Jameer Nelson, Glen Davis, Hedo Turkoglu, Chris Duhon, Jason Richardson and Quentin Richardson.
He has to start cutting that down.
Even if Hennigan can't get talent to return, if he can clear enough cap space to where he could sign a free agent or two in 2013, then Dwight Howard could be tempted to stay.
Acquire Josh Smith
This will be hard to do, but Josh Smith is in the last year of his deal, and the Hawks could elect to go in a new direction.
Smith is one of the guys Dwight Howard had asked for in the past, and while I don't know if the Magic have the assets to get him, Rob Hennigan needs to get creative and add a star to keep Howard semi-happy.
On paper, a Howard-Smith frontcourt would be pretty devastating.
Acquire a Lottery Pick in This Year's Draft
While they certainly can't get themselves in the mix for Anthony Davis, the Orlando Magic are a team that will trade down in what is a very deep draft.
With the No. 19 pick already, if Orlando can also find a way to add an additional first-rounder and add two good pieces to next year's team, it may be enough to convince Dwight Howard that the Magic could have a bright future.