NBA: Dwight Howard Trades and Packages That Could Actually Work
Dwight Howard is on his way out of L.A.
He has no reason whatsoever to sign with a losing team that already has an elite center, a team where he would be the second or third option.
The Lakers have said they won't trade him, but they should consider it soon if they don't want him to leave for nothing via free agency. D12 said at the 2012 deadline that he would not resign with the Lakers if he was traded there.
So, here are some trades that L.A. can make so that they stay elite.
L.A. gets: Kyle Korver, Al Horford
Atlanta gets: Dwight Howard
How it can work: I saw this trade on another article on Bleacher Report, and I think it's very interesting.
Los Angeles will get Al Horford, whose true position is power forward, and sniper Kyle Korver. Getting Horford would allow both he and Pau Gasol to play their true positions, and Gasol would return to his elite status. Yes, I believe Pau still has it in him, and if you want proof, look no further than his 25-point showing against the Raptors with Dwight Howard ejected.
Kyle Korver would also be a perfect fit in Mike D'Antoni's system, getting open looks and knocking them down. Ashton Kutcher's doppelganger would instantly become the best shooter (bar perhaps Steve Nash), as only Earl Clark has a better three-point shooting percentage, and Korver's mark of 46 percent from deep easily beats out the next best, Nash, who has a three-point percentage of 40.9 percent.
Meanwhile, Atlanta would get their state's high school legend, Dwight Howard, who would likely re-sign in Atlanta due to having his two closest friends and high school teammates Josh Smith and Anthony Morrow around.
Flaws: If Atlanta is willing to take a risk, they may just want to wait until the summer when Dwight is a free agent rather than part with All-Star Horford and an attractive piece like Korver.
To L.A.: Dirk Nowitzki, Pablo Prigioni, Ronnie Brewer, Jae Crowder
To Brooklyn: Dwight Howard, James White
Should L.A. Trade Dwight Howard?
To Dallas: Brook Lopez, Mirza Teletovic
To New York: Antawn Jamison, Jared Cunningham, Darius Morris
How it can work: The Lakers will get a power forward who specializes in one-foot fadeaways and long twos. That seems like a good fit for coach Mike D'Antoni. Although he is old, Nowitzki still has fight in him. In addition, the removal of Dwight Howard and the arrival of Nowitzki will also allow Pau Gasol to move back to center, the position that he played when he was a perennial All-Star.
They also get a good backup point guard in Pablo Prigioni, who is usually buried on the bench, never playing more than 14 minutes behind Jason Kidd and a healthy Raymond Felton. Since Raymond Felton's injury, he has received upwards of 20 minutes in games, but since Felton hopes to return Saturday vs. Philly, he is more than likely to receive little playing time yet again. Prigioni is an extremely pesky defender and a solid passer whose talents are severely underutilized by the Knicks.
The Lakers also get a young, athletic wing defender in Ronnie Brewer. Perimeter defense has been one of their primary struggles, and Brewer would likely get enough minutes to help in this area. The Lakers' best small forward right now is Devin Ebanks (Earl Clark usually plays power forward).
Brooklyn wants Dwight Howard badly and have expressed a lot of interest in him. For rookie Mirza Teletovic, who is usually a non-factor, and Brook Lopez, who doesn't know what the word "rebound" means, they get the best center in the game.
Dwight Howard has expressed love for Brooklyn as well, like when he said this summer he wanted to go to the Nets and only the Nets. They also get slot-filler James White.
Dallas needs young pieces. They're not contending this year with the current roster, and getting 25-year-old O.J. Mayo helped their cause. Getting Brook Lopez would help even more, and a Mayo-Lopez combination could prove to be quite lethal. In addition, Mirza Teletovic could develop into a decent role player someday.
Meanwhile, New York will receive Darius Morris, who is slowly developing into a good role player, a kid who plays hard-nosed defense and can connect on his three-pointers when he takes them. They also receive Antawn Jamison, who can be the biggest bargain in the NBA when given the minutes.
Last year, Jamison averaged 17.2 points and 6.3 boards per game as the third option on the Cleveland Cavaliers. His career averages are 19.1 points and 7.7 rebounds a game, and he is a two-time NBA All-Star and Sixth Man of the Year.
They also get a young Jared Cunningham, who may develop into a solid player someday given the opportunity. He has registered more points than minutes on some occasions. He is at the bottom of the depth chart for the Mavs and is shooting a respectable 42.9 percent from the field. The Knicks should know the meaning of opportunity more than anyone, having discovered Jeremy Lin off the end of the bench last season.
Flaws: The biggest concern I have here is with the Mavericks. Dirk Nowitzki has a no-trade clause in his contract, and may not see a reason to go to Tinseltown. I think that if he does, he will be able to win another championship, but that's just my opinion. Owner Mark Cuban will be reluctant to deal Nowitzki as well, but he may see that Brook Lopez can be just as good as Nowitzki is now, if not better.
As for the Knicks, they may not want to part with Brewer or Prigioni, despite not needing Brewer thanks to already having an elite wing defender and a solid 1 (Iman Shumpert and Jason Kidd). They also may not need Prigioni, as they have a plethora of guards who include future All-Star Shumpert, solid defender and passer Kidd, top-15 point guard Raymond Felton, and sizzling Sixth Man of the Year candidate J.R. Smith.
To L.A.: Marc Gasol, Quincy Pondexter
To Memphis: Dwight Howard, Danny Granger, Jodie Meeks
To Indiana: Rudy Gay
How it can work: Los Angeles will probably like this trade, because they are getting Pau Gasol's brother and a good role-playing small forward for Dwight and a guy who's getting DNPs.
Marc and Pau have proven that they can work well together in the Olympics and FIBA tournaments. Marc will be getting back to the team that drafted him and should enjoy being with his brother. The 2011 All-Star is also a good playmaker and passer, and his defense is strong as well. Quincy Pondexter is a solid role player. Dwight Howard will leave and take his shot-blocking abilities with him,and it's important that L.A. gets defense in another form.
Which trade is the best?
While Memphis admittedly gets older, they get sharpshooter Jodie Meeks, former All-Star Danny Granger, and the best center today in Dwight Howard. They've already been shopping Rudy and will likely jump at this offer. They get a significant upgrade at center and a good leader and scorer, as well as a young role player.
Dwight may not re-sign in Memphis, but I think he will, because the Grizzlies are contenders and will become even better once he comes along. Granger is injured, but he should still be a star once he gets back. He would also provide the Griz with some scoring punch.
The Pacers get younger, and the team will officially go to Paul George once Granger is gone. This will help them a lot, and they will become more athletic in the process. Gay also provides stingy perimeter D, a trait for which he would be more well-known if he didn't share the spotlight with All-NBA defenders Mike Conley, Jr. and Tony Allen.
Flaws: Memphis may not want Granger, as they would get older if they do. Jodie Meeks has not been playing lately, so it is hard to analyze his productivity.
L.A. gets: Chris Bosh, Rashard Lewis
Miami gets: Dwight Howard
How it works: The Heat will obviously jump at this offer. If they do this this, they will not only have the best player and a top-three shooting guard, but the best defender and the best center as well. This would also solve the Heat's size and rebounding issues. Dwight would love playing for the best in the East, and he should enjoy the move back to Florida as well. Although they will have to sacrifice Rashard Lewis, they already have some of the best shooters in the world at their disposal. Lewis is expendable.
Meanwhile, the Lakers get a good mid-range shooter and a three point shooting small forward. Everyone knows Bosh is a mid-range master, as he shoots an astonishing 57.4 percent from 16 feet to downtown. He could stretch the floor with this prowess and will allow Gasol to move to center.
In addition, the Lakers can move Lewis to small forward and use him as a sniper. He is shooting 44 percent from beyond the arc and D"Antoni's system will provide open looks for him.
Flaws: Honestly, I can't really think of many flaws with this trade. Miami may think that Rashard Lewis and Bosh for Howard is too much, or they may not want to break up the current big three, but that's about it.
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