Dwight Howard: What Should Be the Orlando Magic's Number One Trade Priority?

Hunter KonsensCorrespondent IIJuly 30, 2012

Dwight Howard
Dwight HowardHoward Smith-US PRESSWIRE

With a new head coach, Jacque Vaughn, and general manager, Rob Hennigan, the Orlando Magic may be finally ready to seriously consider trading Dwight Howard from the franchise. This new development comes from Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio.

With Dwight Howard reiterating his wish to be traded, multiple league sources predict  the Orlando Magic will again step up efforts to find their All-Star center a new team. 

Several of those sources told FOX Sports Ohio on Saturday they believe Howard could be traded by the end of next week.

If the perennial All-Star is finally shipped from the organization that drafted him first overall in the 2004 NBA Draft, what should the team seek in return?

Obviously, a plethora of picks and prospects are the glamour additions that many expect the Magic to desire. After all, the Denver Nuggets received a package along those lines for Carmelo Anthony and the team nearly knocked off the Los Angeles Lakers last postseason.

Sure, a deal comprised of the aforementioned assets wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for the Magic, but Orlando should also manipulate a trade to release a few of their ugly contracts.

And if there is one thing we know in the complicated "Dwightmare" situation, it is the fact that the Magic have a multitude of contracts they would love to release from their roster.

Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, Chris Duhon and Glen Davis all own cumbersome deals.

Hypothetically, if the Magic just added picks and prospects for their franchise cornerstone, the team would have a cap on how much they could possibly develop.

The beginning stage of rebuilding—which is the endeavor Orlando is about to take on—is the most important stage in the process.

Not only does the team acquire their most promising prospects through the draft during this time, but it also marks a new start in a franchise.

If Orlando keeps these overpriced veterans after a Howard deal, no team would want to acquire them. 

Due to already amnestying a player—Gilbert Arenas—the team would just have to wait for the all of these unfortunate deals to expire.  Ouch.

With Turkoglu, Davis, Richardson and Duhon still on the roster, the franchise would never be in contention for a high lottery pick in the immediate future due to the amount of talent those established players currently possess.

By shedding a few of these players, the team would essentially be bottoming out and would be allowed to add their next franchise pieces through the draft and free agency with all of their new cap space.

Letting go of their veterans and adding expiring contracts should, in my opinion, be the team's top priority.

It may not be the popular move, but it would allow GM Rob Hennigan to work with a blank slate.

In fact, last season Hennigan worked for a team that perfected this plan.

The Oklahoma City Thunder, formerly the Seattle Supersonics, had both Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis in 2007. However, the team decided to trade Allen to the Celtics and let Lewis walk in free agency to allow budding superstar Kevin Durant to flourish.

Five years later, the Thunder are the reigning Western Conference champions and surrounded the lanky forward with James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins.

The Magic will probably not duplicate the immense success the Thunder have experienced, but letting go of their established veterans would be a fantastic start.

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