NBA Trade Speculation: What the Knicks Would Give Up to Land Dwight Howard
Although they aren't considered big-time NBA contenders just yet, we all will expect them to be a much-improved team worth watching night in and night out next year.
Speculation has already begun building up regarding Dwight Howard, who, according to Yahoo! Sports writer Adrian Wojnarowski, is looking at the Knicks and Lakers as teams he would favor in 2012 free agency.
Assuming Howard would like to be suiting up in Madison Square Garden 41 times a year, will the Knicks try to go after him soon? Howard has an early termination clause, which means he could be free as soon as next season.
But would the Knicks dare trade to get Howard? Here are a few trade scenarios that seem plausible.
Trade Amar'e Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups
This would likely be the most accepted trade for Knicks fans. While Chauncey Billups is a big name in the NBA, especially amongst his teammates and peers, he's not quite the superstar player he used to be.
Billups is still very talented, however, and his trade value is rather high. Trading a big-time guard like Billups, along with an All-Star in Amar'e Stoudemire, would possibly even appear to be a winning trade for the Magic.
Trade Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony
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The Knicks could make a move towards building a dominating interior and trade Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups away to the Orlando Magic.
Obviously, these trades are of high value and would require the Magic to send some other players so contract money can be absorbed comfortably both ways.
Some think Carmelo Anthony was simply obtained to create more trade leverage, which is debatable, but either way fans would likely accept this happening.
Trade Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony
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This might seem absolutely crazy, but it's possible.
If the Knicks were able to get a guy like Jason Richardson or Gilbert Arenas—each has a huge contract at the moment—then this might appear to be an even switch.
Okay, maybe not. Dwight Howard would have to prove, in the long term, that this was a good move.
This trade, if it happened, would call for major success and immediate success from Howard.
If the Knicks failed to become championship contenders, it could go down as one of the dumbest moves in NBA history.
High risk, high reward trade here.
Give Up Chauncey Billups, Trade Stoudemire and One More Player
Billups has two more years left on his contract, and many think his contract is a little inflated at $13 million-plus.
If Billups was released, space would open up for the Knicks to make a more even trade with the Magic.
The Magic wouldn't have to give up more than just Dwight, and the Knicks would be good to give away a lower key player.
This would require the second player to be of considerable value, such as a guy like Toney Douglas.
Clean House, Pick Up Dwight Howard in Free Agency
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Of course, there is a chance Dwight Howard becomes free sometime next season rather than the 2012 summer.
If this does happen, teams will be all over him, and immediately.
To land Howard, contract room will have to be around $20 million or higher.
This means the Knicks would have to consider releasing either Amar'e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony or Chauncey Billups and releasing a few other bench players to clear space and have considerable leverage in trade.
If Dwight really would like to be a Knick, then leverage is already somewhat in the Knicks' favor, but they can't be too careful.
One current Knicks star would have to end up elsewhere.