NBA Trade Rumors: Magic Must Only Accept Proven Players in Dwight Howard Trade

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJuly 9, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 13:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic smiles during the game against the Miami Heat at Amway Center on March 13, 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 Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Raise your hand if you just want Dwight Howard to get traded already.

You can all put your hands down now.

The latest rumored deal comes to us from Ken Berger of CBS Sports, and three first-round draft picks would be at the heart of the deal. That would certainly represent a departure away from team's desired return for Howard, which previously was thought to be only proven young stars.

If there is a deal to be made between the Nets and Magic, the most likely scenario would involve center Brook Lopez going to Orlando and a signed-and-traded Kris Humphries going to a third team, one of the sources said.

In the most likely Nets-Magic trade scenario, one of the first-round picks would come from a third team. The Nets have their own first-round picks to offer in alternate years under league rules, but if they added Howard to Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, those picks almost certainly would be in the bottom third of the draft for the foreseeable future.

Word began circulating in NBA front-office circles Saturday night that the Nets were trying to put together a package that included as many as five first-round picks for Howard. But a person briefed on the discussions described the notion of the Nets funneling more than three first-round picks to Orlando as "unrealistic."

Five first-round picks sounds pretty unrealistic to me as well.

Besides, why would the Magic want first-round picks from a future playoff team? If three first-round picks were truly to be involved in this deal, they would have to come from a source other than the Nets.

Howard's apparent insistence that he'll only sign with the Brooklyn Nets is frustrating for us all, because it has assured this ordeal will drag out for as long as humanely possible and continue to dominate NBA discourse.

And honestly, the only deal for all parties involved that continues to make sense is an Andrew Bynum and loose change—or Pau Gasol, if the Magic can send something else in return—for Dwight Howard swap with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Magic get the second-best center in the league to build around. The Lakers get to have fun playing with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Howard. And Howard gets a championship contender, major market, the chance to play for one of the league's most storied franchises and a team that will be all his once Bryant and Nash retire.

I seriously have no idea why these three parties can't agree this is the best possible solution available to them.

As it stands, Brook Lopez, three first-round picks and whatever else the Nets want to offer is a joke, and the Magic shouldn't be laughing. That would be like trading Superman for Aquaman on your crime-fighting squad.

And no self-respecting comics fan would ever even consider that deal.

The Magic shouldn't either. Until they get back a solid return for Howard, they should keep him around. Or just trade him to the Lakers already.

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