NBA Rumors: Ranking Rumored Dwight Howard Trade Scenarios According to Logic
Dwight Howard's days are numbered with the Orlando Magic. We've known this for some time, and Rob Hennigan's selection as the organization's new general manager hasn't changed a thing.
If anything, the franchise appears to be more resolute than ever to make a deal happen.
There's always the chance that something will change, but the Orlando Sentinel's Brian Schmitz reports (h/t Chicago Tribune) that Hennigan doesn't sound especially optimistic.
As much as the Magic would like for Howard to be part of their newest plan, Hennigan only wants him if he's all in. "We want our players to be invested in the organization," he said.
Howard has been anything but invested in Orlando's future, and he probably won't be part of it for much longer. But, where will he wind up in that event?
Here are some of the possibilities.
5. Golden State Warriors
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
The Golden State Warriors reportedly had interest in landing Dwight Howard via a three-team trade back in March, but don't expect to see a deal like that come along again. For one thing, a number of the pieces said to be involved—including Monta Ellis and the New Orleans Hornets' Chris Kaman—have already moved on to new destinations.
“I doubt it,” Lacob told NBA.com at the gathering to introduce rookies Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli and Draymond Green. “I never say never. But we have somebody called Andrew Bogut. He is, in our opinion, one of the three best centers in the whole NBA, and in most people’s opinion. And he wants to be here and is a great fit. We think we have a really nice nucleus now going forward.”
The Warriors never made much sense as a fit for Howard. It's hard to see him staying there for the long-term, and they certainly wouldn't have been at the top of any shortlists.
4. Houston Rockets
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
The Houston Rockets, as currently constructed, appear to be little more than a hodgepodge of assets. They might have enough of them to land Dwight Howard, but there'd be so little of a roster core left over that such a move surely wouldn't appeal to the big man.
That won't stop them from trying, even if it does mean landing a superstar who doesn't want to be there.
According to the Houston Chronicle's Jordan Feigen, the organization still aspires to land the superstar directly:
The Rockets are open to the three-team deal in which they would receive Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum, with Howard going to the Lakers, but are primarily working directly with the Magic to acquire Howard, the individual with knowledge of the talks said.
Why Houston is so willing to gamble on Howard is anyone's guess. He's already indicated he wouldn't stick around the organization after this season, so the Rockets would inevitably give up a lot for a rental.
3. Atlanta Hawks
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
The Atlanta Hawks had some solid young pieces to offer the Orlando Magic, and they also benefited from the fact that Dwight Howard was originally from the area.
Nevertheless, they appear to be out of the running for now according to Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. New general manager Danny Ferry has put his team in a position to make some big moves by acquiring assets and shedding Joe Johnson's contract.
But, this apparently won't be that big move.
2. Brooklyn Nets
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
The Brooklyn Nets' attempts to land Dwight Howard appear to have reached an impasse for now, but they remain one of the more probable landing spots for the big man—especially if Howard remains with the Orlando Magic for the first few months of the season.
Nets center Brook Lopez will re-sign with the organization, and he can't be traded until January 15 as per the new CBA.
That means a deal between the two teams could still happen, but it would have be a mid-season one. If the Magic hold out and wait to drive up the bidding, Brooklyn could be right back in the picture.
1. Los Angeles Lakers
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
The Dwight Howard sweepstakes appear to be coming full-circle with the Los Angeles Lakers once again in prime position to add another superstar piece to the puzzle.
ESPN's Marc Stein explains one variation of a deal that could happen:
Sources told ESPN.com that the Rockets are discussing a multitude of trade scenarios with the Magic, offering to serve both as the team that would acquire Howard in a direct trade between the clubs and also as a third team that would participate in a trade that lands Howard with the Lakers and brings All-Star center Andrew Bynum to Houston.
Chances are there would be a few more pieces involved. The Lakers would likely need to part with some members of their already thin supporting cast at the very least.
If you thought Los Angeles has problems on the bench before, just wait.
Meanwhile, the Magic would walk away with a wealth of cap space, draft picks and young prospects from the Houston Rockets. They would find themselves in prime rebuilding position, and that's what makes this deal as probable as any.