NBA Trade Rumors: Ranking The East With Dwight Howard On The Knicks

Eric CaspersonCorrespondent IIFebruary 8, 2011

NBA Trade Rumors: Ranking The East With Dwight Howard On The Knicks

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    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Enough with all the Carmelo Anthony trade rumors. Let's move on.

     

    Dwight Howard has recently been in the news for complaining about his lack of touches in a game against the Celtics.

    Howard is an interesting trade topic that will be sure to heat up as the February trade deadlines draws near.

    Howard can opt out of his contract following the end of next season.

    Howard will probably opt out and get a max contract somewhere if he and his agent do not work something out with the Magic before then.

    One team always speculated to have interest in trades nowadays is the New York Knicks.

    Having Stoudemire and Howard up front will be a hard team to defend on the block.

    The Eastern powers will change dramatically and here is a re-ranking of teams playing for the eight seeds in the Eastern Conference.

9. Charlotte Bobcats

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    Brian A. Westerholt/Getty Images

    Charlotte rounds out the teams that could realistically make it into the playoffs this season. They have one more win than the Pacers this season, but the Bobcats have played a few more games.

    The fight for the eigth seed will be a battle between Charlotte and Indiana.

    The battle will not last long, however, because either the Celtics or the Heat will be awaiting them in the first Round.

    Stephen Jackson is putting up close to his career high averages with over 18 PPG.

    Gerald Wallace has turned into a player that opposing teams have to account for when putting together their game plans.

8. Indiana Pacers

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    After a very hot start, the Pacers have gone ice cold and have since fired coach Jim O'Brien.

    They have recently won four straight, but none of those wins came against any particularly good teams.

    Danny Granger leads the team with 20 PPG and the team has found a point guard for the future in Darren Collison.

    Roy Hibbert also continues to improve as he is having another break out season averaging career highs in his third season.

7. Orlando Magic

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    Dwight Howard is the engine that makes the Magic go. Without him, the team will be vastly over-matched on the front court.

    The Magic are 12 games above .500.

    If they would want to stay above .500, they would have to find a way to get Gilbert Arenas on the court with Jameer Nelson.

    They will need to change their entire offense in order to run the ball more since they have no size down low.

6. Philadelphia 76ers

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    If you haven't heard, the 76ers are not at the bottom of the East anymore.

    After drafting No. 2 overall in last year's draft, the 76ers right now are the No. 7 seed in the East at 23-27.

    Do not let that record fool you. The 76ers started the season 3-13.

    Doug Collins has done a great job with one of the youngest teams in the league.

    The 76ers have a bright future if they can find another go-to scorer.

5. Atlanta Hawks

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    No one seems to be talking about the Atlanta Hawks this year. They are very quietly 33-18 and have won seven of ten.

    Joe Johnson continues to lead a very young team that is hopeful to finally advance in the playoffs this year.

    They have four players averaging more than 16 PPG.

    Josh Smith and Al Horford are almost averaging double doubles each night.

    Atlanta is another well balanced team, but do they have the top end talent to take down one of the big powers in the East?

4. Chicago Bulls

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    As far as point guards go, Derrick Rose is one of the best, if not the best in the NBA.

    He can do it all. He can defend, score and create.

    The Bulls have a very deep team and each player knows his role on the floor.

    The Bulls have only lost four games at home the entire season.

    They are the only team in the top six that have an under .500 road record.

    They would need to improve on that in the second half of the season.

3. New York Knicks

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    Many thought Amare Stoudemire was the consolation prize for the New York Knicks this off season when they failed to sign Lebron.

    He sure is making America think that the Knicks made the right decision here.

    Stoudemire has gone on a tear since joining the team this off season.

    With the possible addition of Dwight Howard, the Knicks will become that much better.

    However, they will be very front court heavy. Their back court is not the best and will fail to match up with Boston and Miami at those positions.

    That being said, the Knicks could dominate down low and on the glass.

    The only bad thing about this scenario is that Howard and Stoudemire play the same position and are somewhat the same type of player.

    In the playoffs you need a point guard to control and run a team.

    Raymond Felton is a good PG, but he is not good enough to bring the team a championship.

2. Miami Heat

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    After starting out the year hovering around .500, the Heat have come together as a team and have gone on a roll.

    They have won six straight and have the third best record in the NBA.

    The Heat are getting every team's best effort each night and they are still dominating.

    If it came down to the Knicks vs. Heat, I would give Miami the advantage. I would take the Heat's back court over the Knicks front court (with Howard).

1. Boston Celtics

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    Regardless of any trade that happens, the Boston Celtics will be the team to beat out of the Eastern Conference.

    They currently boast the best record in the Conference at 38-13 and the second best record in the NBA.

    The reason why Boston is the team to beat is because of their depth and balance. On any given night, Boston can have one of their starters take over a game.

    Boston is so hard to defend against because you could make a case for each starter to be an All-Star.