Dwight Howard Trade Speculation: 10 Teams He Could Lead to a Championship

Joseph Fafinski@Joseph FafinskiCorrespondent IMay 5, 2011

Dwight Howard Trade Speculation: 10 Teams He Could Lead to a Championship

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    ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 28:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic reacts after a turnover to the Atlanta Hawks during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 28, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Dwight Howard, in my opinion, is a symbol of hard work and character.

    He is the best defensive center the league has seen in a long time, collecting three Defensive Player of the Year awards in as many seasons.

    As a member of the Orlando Magic, Dwight has proved to us that it is impossible to win a championship when your second-best player is Jason Richardson.

    If Howard were moved to another team (or 10 of them, in this case), he would have a better chance of finally winning that ring.

    Howard's Twitter account features no information about himself, and his 140-character box simply states, "After the ring!" This proves how serious he is about winning and how the familiar concept of losing is wrong. Even Charlie Sheen was impressed when he read that.

    The point is that Superman II would like to win a ring very soon, and the fact of the matter is that he deserves it. So let's be hypothetical for a second here: What teams could he lead to a championship if he were part of the roster, let's say, right now?

    With that in mind, here are 10 of those teams and what it would take for them to win a title with Dwight.

    Thanks for reading!

10. Portland Trail Blazers

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    PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 28: (L to R) Gerald Wallace #3, head coach Nate McMillan and Wes Matthews #2 of the Portland Trail Blazers gather during a time out in the fourth quarter of Game Six of the Western Conference Quartefinals in the 2011 NBA Playsoffs on
    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    When deciding between the Trail Blazers and the Mavericks for this position, a thought crossed my mind—how awesome would a starting five of Andre Miller, Wesley Matthews, Gerald Wallace, LaMarcus Aldridge and Dwight Howard sound? Would there be enough defense to spread around?

    The last four of the starters are above-average defenders, and with fresh legs like Brandon Roy, Marcus Camby (well, sort of fresh), Nicolas Batum and others, is there any chance this team wouldn't win an NBA Finals or two if it stayed intact?

    Portland would be my selection for an underrated pick for Dwight. The Rose City, once known for its proud nature for the game of basketball, has eliminated all remnants of the Jail Blazer period and is ready to start a new dynasty fresh and free of crime.

    I like the characters of the team they currently own, and if they got Howard, one of the nicest guys in the league, on the team, it'd be a tough team to take down.

9. New Jersey Nets

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 04:  #8 Deron Williams of the Nets in action during the NBA match between New Jersey Nets and the Toronto Raptors at the O2 Arena on March 4, 2011 in London, England. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by do
    Warren Little/Getty Images

    I have already stated why New Jersey would be the best fit for Howard, but what I can't emphasize enough is how the Nets have a great chance to follow through on it.

    Deals aside, would Howard be ready to lead the Nets to a title right now?

    Absolutely he would. The team has a lot of young talent, money to spend, Deron Williams and some potential All-Stars in the coming years in Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries.

    Imagine if the Nets grabbed hold of Howard—it would be the best thing to happen to the state of New Jersey since the Stanley Cup was taken home by the Devils eight years ago. Yes, that was a Jersey Shore joke. By the way, I'm sorry if you live there; I'll bet it's actually pretty nice outside the fake people of that show.

    Anyway, back to the topic at hand. The Nets are the best financial bet, and without a doubt Dwight Howard would lead them to the promised land with the current roster. They'd be too good in the paint to ignore, and they have perhaps a top-three point guard in Williams.

8. Memphis Grizzlies

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    OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 01:  Center Marc Gasol #33 of the Memphis Grizzlies reacts against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 1, 2011 at Oklahoma City Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Imagine Marc Gasol, but like three times better. Does your new-and-improved Gasol look like a Dwight Howard?

    Basically, if the Grizz had Howard, they'd be in for a championship from the get-go.

    The Atlanta native would bring to the table everything the team needs in terms of post defense and rebounding (although Zach Randolph is pretty darned good at that too), and it wouldn't even be fair to the rest of the league.

    Howard and the Grizzlies would be one heck of a formidable team.

7. New York Knicks

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24:  (L-R) Amar'e Stoudemire #1, Carmelo Anthony #7 and Shawne Williams #3 of the New York Knicks celebrate a play against the Boston Celtics in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 2
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Perhaps the worst defensive team in the league as it is, the one glaring need for the New York Knicks is the lack of a true center. As mentioned, defense is obviously a need as well, and Dwight Howard would be the best possible situation.

    Howard, the best defensive player in the league, would take joy in the fact that he'd be playing alongside two other superstars in Carmelo Anthony, your classic all-offense, no-defense guy, and Amar'e Stoudemire, a guy whose two biggest weaknesses (defense and rebounding) are what Howard excels best at on the hardwood.

    It'd be the perfect match for the Knicks, and they'd ride the momentum all season long to the NBA Finals.

6. Boston Celtics

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    MIAMI, FL - MAY 03:  Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics looks on during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2011 NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on May 3, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expre
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are three of the game's best players ever.

    Would Dwight Howard relish playing with these guys?

    Perhaps, and I believe if he did, they would win yet another championship.

    The thing that takes away from Dwight's interest in Beantown, however, is the fact that most of their stars are aging and past their prime. Garnett is 34, Allen is 35 and Pierce is 33. It is a fact that Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green are going to be the future in Massachusetts, and I'm not sure that supporting cast for Howard would lead to a title.

    Regardless, it's a different story now. If he joined the team next season, there would be no doubt in my mind that a championship would soon follow.

5. Atlanta Hawks

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    ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 24:  Al Horford #15 of the Atlanta Hawks celebrates after a basket against the Orlando Magic with Kirk Hinrich #6 and Joe Johnson #2 during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The absolute one glaring need for the Atlanta Hawks is a true center.

    Al Horford, at an undersized 6'9", is not a center.

    Assuming Dwight was on the Hawks right now, would there be any chance they wouldn't win the title?

    They'd be strong both defensively (as if they aren't right now) and offensively, and Horford might be able to put up some big numbers with Howard as the other post decoy. Josh Smith and Joe Johnson might relinquish a bit of their scoring talents, sure, but isn't that price worth paying for admission to the NBA Finals?

    The current Hawks team has made it known that they have a fighting chance in this year's playoffs, and if they were to able to lock in Dwight Howard, it'd be a long postseason for every other team.

4. Chicago Bulls

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    CHICAGO, IL - MAY 04: Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls looks up into the stands at family members at the end of Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks at the United Center on May 4, 2011 in Chi
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The Chicago Bulls had one heck of a season—60 wins, a No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, a first-round victory and still going.

    How easy would it be for the crew if Dwight Howard was on the team?

    In turn, you would have two of the league's most unselfish players in Howard and Derrick Rose, the winner of the MVP this season (Howard was runner-up). Chicago already looks like it has a shot this season, and it's not like Dwight would hurt its chances, right?

    This team could've won 65 games or perhaps sniffed 70 if Howard was part of it.

    It'd be easy, and the Bulls would be able to get it done with Superman in the paint.

    The titles would come rolling in like they did during the Michael Jordan era.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder

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    OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 03:  Forward Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder reacts against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 3, 2011 at Oklahoma City Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklah
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    One of the most talented young teams in the league, the Oklahoma City Thunder would be dumbfounded if they were to sign Howard.

    In turn they would possess two of the league's five best players in Kevin Durant and Howard.

    Since the Thunder only have one below-average defender anyway (James Harden), it's not like he could help them extraordinarily on defense, but I mean, c'mon—it's Dwight Howard.

    Regardless, it'd be a cakewalk for the team that would start Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha, Durant, Serge Ibaka and Howard. Think about the first two guys off the bench in the defensive demon that is Kendrick Perkins and the point-happy Harden.

    Now's that a hands-down championship waiting to happen, although, in reality, there's no chance Superman II will take his talents there.

2. Miami Heat

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 21: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat and teammate LeBron James #6 (R) against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second half of game three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at Wells Fargo Center on April 21, 2011 in Philadelp
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Are you kidding me? Of course Dwight Howard would win a championship if he were on the Miami Heat!

    After all, they are a decent center away from attaining that goal anyway.

    If Miami ever had a chance of grabbing Howard, it'd easily be the best team in the league and would be on its way to the NBA Finals by crushing one opponent at a time.

    Remember how I said the Thunder would have two of the top five? Well, the Miami Heat would have a third, as Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are a few of the others. Boom!

    On second thought, I hope the Heat never bring him in. It wouldn't make the playoffs as entertaining as they have been so far.

    One thing I find funny with the picture above is that the soft Chris Bosh is chilling in the background, and if the team signed Dwight, it'd be a mystery as to what Bosh's role on the team was.

1. Los Angeles Lakers

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 02:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts late in the fourth quarter while taking on the Dallas Mavericks in Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 2, 2011 in Los A
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Admit it—as soon as you noticed the headline, you knew the Lakers would be first on the list.

    Assuming the Magic grab hold of Andrew Bynum's rights (but for this purpose right now, we're talking current lineups), the Lakers would have the most dynamic starting lineup in the league.

    Since Los Angeles' finest have won two titles in a row without Howard, it'd make sense that they would threepeat with ease if they had him right now.

    The real question would have to be this: Would he be the updated Kobe, the new face of the league?

    Ponder this as I conclude the slideshow. 

     

    Joseph Fafinski is currently a freshman at the University of Missouri. Originally from Chaska, Minnesota, Joseph is an NBA and Minnesota Timberwolves Featured Columnist and a frequent writer on all things NBA, NFL and MLB.

    You can email Joseph at jef3m8@mail.missouri.edu or follow him on Twitter at @JosephFafinski.