NBA Trade Rumors: 5 Bold Deals That Would Send Dwight Howard out of Orlando
As the 2010 NBA mid-season trade deadline came and went with some not-so-shocking trades, it’s time for this summer’s hot stove to heat up with five fairly bold potential deals that could land Orlando Magic’s center Dwight Howard.
In 2011, Howard will be making $17.9 million and with the very real possibility that he will decide to depart from Orlando after the season via free agency, it would be wise for the Magic to explore some trade options this summer.
Howard is a perennial All-Star and arguably the best defender the NBA has seen, so you’ve got to think many teams will be in on the bidding war for D12.
Here are the 5 bold deals that could land Dwight Howard this summer.
Los Angeles Lakers: Bynum and Odom for Howard and Arenas
Larry Coon of ESPN recently took to Twitter to tell the world that he believes if the Orlando Magic look to deal Dwight Howard this summer, they’ll most likely unload Gilbert Arenas’ hefty contract as well.
Well Larry, I agree.
Arenas owns the largest contract on the current Magic roster and is signed through 2013-2014, so it would definitely benefit the Magic to let him walk as well.
The team I think most willing to take Arenas along with Howard is the Los Angeles Lakers in a deal that would send Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom packing to Orlando, of course barring any cap space discrepancies.
Initially looking like a step backwards for the Magic, the addition of Bynum would give them a young center they could build a team around and maybe a change of scenery will bode a fresh outlook and a positive attitude for the recently controversial big man.
Odom is a huge asset off the bench, winning the Sixth Man of the Year award in 2010, and could very well put up similar numbers to the 14 points, nine rebounds he averaged with the Lakers this past season.
Los Angeles will obviously be receiving the best center in the game along with Arenas and if Lakers brass can convince the big fella to commit to a long-term deal, the Lakers should be in business for many years to come.
New Jersey Nets: Lopez, Morrow and Outlaw for Howard
New Jersey Nets’ fans were subject to the trade hoopla all season long and it paid off with the addition of All-Star point guard Deron Williams. Now it’s time to continue the trade discussion, but this time involving Magic’s center Dwight Howard as the Nets patiently await the opening of their new arena in Brooklyn, NY.
The most logical trade idea would be to use 22-year-old center Brook Lopez as the centerpiece in a D12 trade.
While there are plenty of Lopez supporters out there saying he’s young, hasn’t reach his potential yet, and will eventually become a star in the league, even head coach Avery Johnson was quick to say that Lopez isn’t nearly as good as Howard is right now.
In order for the Nets to make room for Howard on their roster, they’ll need to revamp certain aspect of their team including renegotiating current contracts to free up money now. They’ll also have to consider including guys like Anthony Morrow and Travis Outlaw in the deal.
Outlaw is making a cool $7 million for 2011 and hasn’t lived up to the hype, but Morrow is a three-point sniper signed to a team-friendly contract and fans may be sad to see him go. But if it means landing Superman, I’m sure fans can cope.
If Howard were in place in New Jersey, it would almost certainly mean Williams would sign an extension with the Nets, creating a championship-caliber team for many years to come.
New York Knicks: Stoudemire and Billups for Howard and Arenas
In what would most likely be the biggest deal of the 2011 season, it’s very possible to believe that the New York Knicks would be willing to ship both Amaré Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups to Orlando for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year and Gilbert Arenas.
Despite not sitting well with the fan base, the Knicks have been in a win-now mindset and adding Howard to their current dynamic would certainly help their postseason chances.
The last thing the Magic want to do is move their superstar, and the last thing the Knicks want to do is move Stoudemire after just acquiring Carmelo Anthony mid-season. In all likelihood, the two players would match up well in a deal.
Stoudemire would provide a powerful punch in Orlando that would offset the loss of Howard, while the Knicks would automatically be championship favorites, teaming Howard with ‘Melo.
As the Knicks look to rebound into national relevance, expect them to make some bold moves entering the 2011 season.
Chicago Bulls: Noah and Draft Picks for Howard
Every small market team now has the ever-real thought of their prized superstar potentially jetting from their team for a more lucrative contract elsewhere.
Just look at Chris Bosh’s departure from the team that drafted him in Toronto and the fact that LeBron James not only left his team, but also his home town, for a better chance to win it all in Miami.
This could be the case for Orlando and Howard, so it would be wise to deal him before this possibility arises and the team on the receiving end could very well be the Chicago Bulls.
Of course, Howard comes with a price and the Magic may demand Joakim Noah plus draft picks in return.
Noah is an energetic, young center that would be a great piece for the Magic to build around and considering his college ties to the University of Florida, he may be a good pick up for the Magic PR-wise.
The draft picks would be a key asset in this deal, however.
If a deal does get ironed out before the June 23rd NBA draft, the Bulls could give up both their 28th and 30th pick plus their first-rounder in 2012.
This may seem like a steep price on the Bulls part, but just imagine this: Howard, Boozer, Deng, Rose, plus another guard.
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Westbrook, Harden and Perkins for Howard
According to an OKC news outlet, NewsOK.com, Dwight Howard has gone on record saying that the Thunder “are going to be very tough” and “they’re a legit team.”
So the possibilities of him joining the Thunder this summer have got to be worthwhile. Right?
The most reasonable trade possibility out there is sending Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Kendrick Perkins to the Magic for Howard.
While this may seem lopsided in Orlando’s favor, especially considering how well this Thunder group is playing right now, just imagine the incredible frontline OKC will create by teaming Howard with Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka.
The Magic would be receiving a young, physical center in return and a budding superstar in Westbrook, while Harden would be a great asset coming off the bench.
The Thunder would become incredibly good, even if they have to plug Eric Maynor and Thabo Sefolosha into their vacant spots, creating one of the better defensive teams in the league.
OKC may be on the verge of greatness if and when this deal gets pounded out.