In less than two seasons, the Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard will become an unrestricted free agent. However, if Howard makes it clear sometime early next year that he doesn't want to continue his career in Orlando, the Magic will likely look to trade him for as much talent as they can get in return.
Howard, who's 6'11", 265 pounds and has only been in the league for six years, is still at the top of his game.
This season, Howard is averaging 23.2 PPG, 14.2 RPG and 2.4 blocks per game. He's continued to improve year after year and is by far the most dominant center in the NBA as of right now.
With that being said, let's dive into some possible trades that might send Howard on his way out of Orlando.
Proposed Trade: DeAndre Jordan, Eric Bledsoe, Chris Kaman and Ryan Gomes for Dwight Howard
The Clippers are a team that's on the rise. They have made a couple of nice moves over the last couple seasons and have in turn put themselves in a position to eventually be playing playoff basketball.
With Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon and Mo Williams staying put in this hypothetical trade, Howard might consider this a possibility. I know the Clippers would be giving up a lot for just Howard, but the thought of two of the best dunkers in the NBA on the same team is highly intriguing.
Imagine Howard electing not to go with the Lakers, and instead playing for the "Clip Show" in the City of Angels. That could be an interesting twist of events...
Proposed Trade: Serge Ibaka, James Harden and Nick Collison for Dwight Howard
We all know the Thunder are an exciting team. The tempo at which they play and their love for the game of basketball are truly a joy to watch. I'm sure everyone in the NBA took notice last season when the Thunder took the Lakers to seven games in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
In this trade, the Magic are getting back two big men, one being Serge Ibaka, who is a phenomenal defensive player, and James Harden, a knockdown shooter. With the trade for Kendrick Perkins, the Thunder are obviously stressing more emphasis on an interior game. If Garnett and Perkins meshed well, there is no reason why Howard and Perkins couldn't do the same.
No one is having more fun when playing basketball than Dwight Howard, and he might find Oklahoma City an interesting place to play. After all, it's a young team that loves the transition game.
Howard could fit right into that, no problem.
Proposed Trade: Danilo Gallinari, Nene Hilario, Arron Afflalo and Wilson Chandler for Dwight Howard
You heard what Kobe Bryant said the other day..."You look at their lineup; [the Nuggets] essentially have two starting fives."
If you think about it, Bryant is spot on.
When the Nuggets dealt away Carmelo Anthony, everyone thought they were going to take a turn for the worse. Instead, they've persevered and now have an opportunity to play with some of the pieces they just inherited on the trade market.
Dwight Howard would really fit in well with a Nuggets team that thrives on intensity. The Nuggets love to play as a unit, but they also love to find the player who's "feeling it."
Howard would not only be another prolific scorer added to the mix of the Nuggets roster, but the overall defense of the team could all of a sudden become the best in the league.
Orlando in this trade would also be getting a lot in return. The magic would be getting a solid center in Nene, and three pieces that all know how to contribute to a team's success—something the Magic are constantly looking to add to the dynamic of their team.
Proposed Trade: Al Horford, Kirk Hinrich and Zaza Pachulia for Dwight Howard
The Hawks have been one of those teams that thrives on team chemistry. They all trust each other and they all believe in each other, but they just all can't do it without the help of a supporting cast.
The Hawks have simply not put together enough talent on the bench to aid an effective starting five. By adding Dwight Howard, they'd be putting two of the most athletic players in the NBA—in Howard and Josh Smith—down low together.
The Hawks would be drastically better if they added Howard, and even letting as productive a player as Al Horford go could prove to be a wise decision in this instance. The Magic get an excellent center in return on this deal, along with two scorers that could certainly benefit the flow of the Magic's offensive game plan.
Proposed Trade: Patrick Patterson, Jordan Hill and Courtney Lee for Dwight Howard
The Rockets are another one of those teams that has a ton of players they can market to other teams. Although the Rockets have numerous weapons, they've still found it extremely difficult to figure out how to win games. The team is so used to having a dominant center as the focal point of its offense that adding a Dwight Howard would hardly require a transition at all.
The Magic in turn would get an extremely fair deal. Patterson is the type of player that could fit in beautifully with the way the Magic play basketball, as could Jordan Hill. Courtney Lee has already played in Orlando and would find no problem with going back to the Magic.
Although most people don't think of the Rockets as a team that might be able to obtain Howard, the weapons they can offer in return are something that I'm sure the Magic would take the time to consider.
Proposed Trade: Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and Taj Gibson for Dwight Howard
The Chicago Bulls are a team that's risen to the cream of the crop due to the play of Derrick Rose at point guard. They've definitely found their niche as a collective unit, but that doesn't mean they're going to continue on to win a bunch of NBA championships.
With this trade, the Magic get two down-low guys that play extremely stiff defense, and a small forward in Luol Deng who can drain the long ball and is a good passer.
I know in today's game you like to look at teams with a "big three." On this hypothetical Bulls team, Howard and Rose would turn into a two-man wrecking crew. Boozer would be a nice complement, and the opportunity for an NBA championship would increase that much more in the post-Jordan era in Chi-town.
Proposed Trade: Jeff Green, Ray Allen and Nenad Krstic for Dwight Howard
The Boston Celtics are really holding on for dear life currently in the post-Kendrick Perkins era. They're finding out just how important a center who can play defense and provide intensity can be. It's a transitional period for the C's right now, and it may cost them another NBA championship.
If we take a look into the future, landing Dwight Howard in a trade could put them right back atop the NBA. In this specific deal, the Magic would inherit Ray Allen, an obvious lights-out shooter, Jeff Green—who's an athletic and versatile 4—and Nenad Krstic, who will be able to hold down the fort at center until further instructions come from Stan Van Gundy.
Howard may have too much pride to suck it up and play for Boston, but if he would consent, the Celtics could be more dangerous than they ever have been before.
Proposed Trade: Andrew Bynum and Ron Artest for Dwight Howard
Here's a thought: Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Howard all on the same team. If that were to happen, would the Lakers have unofficially turned into a monopoly on talent like the Yankees are?
In this hypothetical trade, the Magic would be acquiring Andrew Bynum, the Lakers' current starting center, and Ron Artest, the Lakers' current starting small forward.
The Magic would certainly remain successful if this were the trade that sent Howard packing. At the same time, they're smart enough to realize what they're creating by sending Howard to the Lakers.
Still, the Lakers can be extremely persuasive. I mean, look how they got Pau Gasol...it was a fair deal.
Howard and Bryant have excellent chemistry from playing on the USA team together, and numerous championships would likely be in store if this deal went down.
Proposed Trade: Brook Lopez, Jordan Farmar, Damion James and a future first-round pick for Dwight Howard
The Nets may be soon moving to Brooklyn. Even though the players still remain the same, there is a certain "psychological" advantage that the team would have by making a move from New Jersey to Brooklyn. A fresh start, if you will...
Now that the Nets have made the move for Deron Williams, they've opened themselves up for a more realistic shot at players like Dwight Howard. In this trade, the Magic would be receiving an excellent starting center in Brook Lopez, two guards who are of some value, another down-low player in Kris Humphries who is slowly emerging, and a first-round pick as the cherry on top.
Howard would like playing for the Nets because he knows that if he were to go there, the team would do everything in its power to bring a championship to the organization. Howard could fit nicely on a Nets team that's going to add more talent in the offseason until finally getting it right.
Proposed Trade: Ronny Turiaf, Jared Jeffries, Landry Fields, Toney Douglas and two future first-round draft picks for Dwight Howard
The New York Knicks are dedicated to a life of winning from here on out. They've had struggles over the past decade or so, and they have no intention of going back to a team that doesn't know how to win. If this trade were to go through, that would mean Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Howard would all be on the same team.
That's one lucky point guard...
For the Magic, they would get several New York Knick role players, but the big thing in this deal is two future first-round draft picks.
Let's face it—if Howard wants to leave, he wants to leave. One of the teams he's likely going to consider is the New York Knicks, for obvious reasons.
Of all the choices and teams Howard could wind up with, the Knicks just may be the best fit. If this trade were to go down, this would be a team with simply too much athleticism to handle down low...period.