Using Stewie Griffin's time machine, we find ourselves on the cusp of the NBA trading deadline in 2012.
Thankfully, Brian Griffin and Mort Goldman have not tagged along. (Note: If you're not familiar with Family Guy, all you need to take from this is that it is the 2012 NBA trading deadline.)
The Knicks find themselves fighting for a playoff spot and hovering around .500 again.
The Magic are sitting in fifth place in the East, with injuries to Jameer Nelson, JJ Redick, and Hedo Turkoglu derailing their hopes of home court advantage in the playoffs.
Privately, Magic General Manager Otis Smith has had lengthy discussions with Dwight Howard and his agent, and both have let Smith know that Howard fully intends to test the free agent waters at the end of the season, but that they are not ruling out a return to Orlando.
At the same time, they are not guaranteeing that Howard will return to the team he has spent his entire career with.
Smith asks them if Howard would be willing to name three teams he would consider playing for, and if Howard would be amenable to being traded so that the Magic aren't left empty-handed.
Howard names the Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers, and New York Knicks.
Would you include Stoudemire in a deal for Howard?
Smith picks up the phone and calls Knicks General Manager Donnie Walsh, making the following proposal.
The Magic are willing to trade Dwight Howard to the Knicks. But the Knicks also have to take on Gilbert Arenas and the two years/$42 million left on his contract.
In return, the Magic want Amar'e Stoudemire and the expiring contract of Chauncey Billups.
(Yes, smaller pieces would most likely be involved to make it work under whatever the cap was at the time, but for our purposes we will ignore them and focus on the major pieces involved).
This would essentially take the Knicks out of the running for Deron Williams, Chris Paul and the like in the summer of 2012, and would limit their options in 2013 as well.
But they would have Superman and 'Melo.
In the summer of 2014, when members of the 2010 draft class including John Wall see their contracts expire, along with some older veterans with names like Kobe, Gasol, Pierce and Nowitzki, the Knicks would have Gilbert's $22 million coming off the cap.
If you're Donnie Walsh, are you hanging up on Otis Smith or are you talking trade?
I'd be intrigued and would certainly listen to what he has to say.