Dwight Howard: How Orlando Magic Keep Driving Up D12's Trade Value
When the process started, Hennigan made his goals clear. He wanted draft picks and to rid Orlando of a couple players from the bad contract quadrangle of Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, Glen Davis and Chris Duhon.
That may be the low bar for his haul at this point.
Getting what he desired was never on the table for Hennigan in negotiations with Howard's first choice, the Brooklyn Nets. All they could offer is 24-year-old center Brook Lopez and pray a third team came with the necessary draft picks and cap relief Orlando wanted.
While the rumor mill seemingly made a potential D12-to-Brooklyn deal imminent, there were always too many barriers to overcome. Howard was never even close to the Nets.
Hennigan simply used Brooklyn to set a low-bar barometer. Each team knew from then on that they needed a better young talent than Lopez, at least one future possible lottery pick and cap relief.
On paper, trading Howard to L.A. makes even less sense than Brooklyn. The Lakers have $90 million in payroll and only Andrew Bynum (another center with an expiring contract) to offer. And involving the Cleveland Cavaliers as a third team with forward Anderson Varejao and picks headed to Orlando is worse than what Brooklyn had to offer.
On the other hand, the Houston Rockets and all-in general manager Daryl Morey can seemingly offer Orlando everything they want. The Rockets have their three first-round picks from June's draft, a future lottery selection from Toronto, Kevin Martin's expiring contract and cap space to offer the Magic.
Houston even amnestied forward Luis Scola, a player who was way too good for an amnesty distinction, to open up cap space for the Magic.
Harry How/Getty Images
An executive who has had discussions with the Magic regarding Howard said Orlando only will trade the star center in a deal that is great for the franchise. The executive said this has been Orlando's stance for the past "week or so."
Another executive who has talked with Orlando said he thinks the Magic may start the season with Howard and wait until the February trade deadline to move him.
Each executive left the door open for posturing, noting that the Magic may be bluffing in hopes of coaxing better offers out of opposing teams. But the overriding sense is that Howard may not be moved for weeks, if not months
Anyone who thinks Hennigan is doing anything but bluffing should get their head examined.
Orlando knows that their biggest haul will come this summer. Howard's hometown Atlanta Hawks and Mark Cuban's Dallas Mavericks will pursue the center if he ever hits the open market. That dangling carrot could make Howard satisfied enough to simply fold his hand next season, say he's "still recovering" from back surgery and leave the Magic with nothing.
Where will Dwight Howard begin the 2012-13 NBA Season?
I'm speculating, but Hennigan has to know his best possible deal would come from a three-way swap with Los Angeles and Houston. Howard is far more likely to extend with the Lakers than with the Rockets, and Morey would still part with most of his D12 package for Bynum.
That would give the Magic the young talent and cap space they desperately need to hit the franchise reset button while giving L.A. and Houston franchise-altering players.
If Hennigan manages to pull that three-way deal off, then the wunderkind will have an NBA Executive of the Year award coming his way.
But if he's serious about keeping D12 into the season, then he may just be the most dense general manager in basketball.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?