Dwight Howard Trade Speculation: 10 Teams He Could Lead to a Championship
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.
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10. Portland Trail Blazers
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.