NBA Trade Rumors: 5 Reasons Dwight Howard Shouldn't Be Traded

Alexander YoungbloodContributor IIIMay 25, 2011

NBA Trade Rumors: 5 Reasons Dwight Howard Shouldn't Be Traded

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    ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 08:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic reacts to a foul during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Amway Arena on February 8, 2011 in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by dow
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    When the Orlando Magic's playoff run ended early in the first round against the Atlanta Hawks, the rest of the NBA immediately began speculating about one player.

    Dwight Howard.

    The most dominant center in the league becomes a free agent in 2012. After "The Decision" of Lebron James, many believe that Dwight will be moved before he becomes a free agent so that the Magic can at least get something in return for him.

    This would not only be detrimental to the Magic franchise, it would be catastrophic.

    The Magic organization has already gone through an eerily similar situation with another Superman, but here are five reasons why he shouldn't be traded before he becomes a free agent.

1. Still Time to Make Trade Moves to Compliment Dwight

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    ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 24:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic walks downcourt after a turnover to the Atlanta Hawks during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 24, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    There is still a whole year before Dwight Howard becomes a free agent.

    Between now and then, Otis Smith has plenty of time to make some moves to keep Dwight in Orlando.

    It is no doubt that the other players on the Magic did not perform up to their full potential in this year's playoff run, and all of them are expendable to bring a big name to Orlando.

    Earlier this season, Smith had the chance to bring in Zach Randolph before the trade deadline, but didn't act because he thought the team was set for a deep playoff run.

    Otis Smith cannot afford to make a mistake like that again.

    The only problem will be cap room for the Magic.

    Arenas and Turkoglu's highly inflated salaries will be hard to trade off, but if the Magic can find a taker for either, they should jump on the opportunity.

2. Possibility of a Super Team in 2012?

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    ORLANDO, FL - OCTOBER 10:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets attempts a shot against Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic during the game at Amway Arena on October 10, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Earlier this season, there was a lot of talk about Chris Paul being unhappy with his situation in New Orleans.  Where was one of his talked about destinations?

    Orlando.

    Similar to the James/Bosh/Wade situation, Paul goes free agent the same time as Dwight.

    Many think that both Dwight and Paul will team up on another team. 

    However, if Dwight likes the Orlando area like he appears to and can talk to Paul, there doesn't seem to be any reason that Dwight can't play the role of Dwayne Wade and bring Paul to Orlando like Wade brought James and Bosh to Miami.

    Coupled with some trades the season before to bring in another big-time player, the combination of Dwight and Paul would be one of the best teams in the NBA immediately. 

    It's high-risk to wait until Dwight goes free agent to hope for Paul, but if the Magic are able to pull it off, the rewards would be unimaginable.

3. No Trade Will Give the Magic the Value of Dwight Howard

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    ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 09:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic goes up for a shot between Andrew Bynum #17 and Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the second quarter of Game Three of the 2009 NBA Finals on June 9, 2009 at Amway Arena in Orlando, Fl
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    If the Magic do trade Howard, they essentially enter a complete rebuilding phase.  The possible trades that are flying around the rumor mill give the Magic no more than consolation prizes for the power of Dwight Howard.

    When you trade away a top-five player, you will not get back your value in that trade.

    Dwight Howard for Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol is a popular trade that has been talked about.

    If Dwight was going to leave, the Magic would want something in return.  However, a player like Gasol or Bynum will not cause defensive players to crash the paint like Dwight does when he gets the ball.

    Not to mention, Howard's status as a defensive juggernaut cannot be matched by any player.

    Essentially, a trade would end the Magic's status as an elite defensive team. A complete reworking of the team would have to begin post-trade to change the dynamic and play style of the team that has been relying on Dwight Howard for its anchor for so long.

4. A Whole Year with Dwight Is Always a Playoff Year

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    ORLANDO, FL - MAY 26:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic dunks against Paul Pierce #34 and Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Amway Arena on May 26, 2010 in Orlando, Fl
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Despite the Magic's major collapse in the playoffs, Dwight Howard had one of his best playoff performances of his career. 

    Trading Dwight before the deadline of 2012 would end the Magic's chances of going to the playoffs again for a long time.

    So, why not spend one more year with Dwight and take the risk?

    The Magic held the fourth seed and had fairly good performance from its role-players in the regular season.  There is no reason why they can't make a better run in 2012 with a few changes.

    A run to the Eastern Conference Finals or even the NBA Finals could also be a major factor in keeping Dwight in Orlando.  If the organization and his teammates can step up to the plate, there is no reason why they can't use this final year to convince Dwight to re-sign.

    One thing is certainly true: If you have Dwight Howard, you are a playoff team.

5. The Magic Can't Afford to Lose Dwight Howard

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    PHOENIX - FEBRUARY 14:  Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic emerges from a phone booth wearing a Superman cape during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday Night, part of 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend at US Airways Center on February 14, 2009 in Ph
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    As I've said before, if the Magic trade Dwight Howard, they will enter a complete rebuilding mode for at least a few years.  The Magic franchise simply can't afford to lose Dwight Howard under any situation.

    He has become the face of the franchise.

    His friendly personality and happy-go-lucky attitude have been adopted by the fanbase of the city.  He has brought media attention to a franchise that before had been wallowing in irrelevancy.

    There is also the brand new $480 million Amway Center that was built mainly due to Dwight Howard being in Orlando.

    If the Magic trade Howard, they will essentially be admitting defeat and fall to a lower level Eastern Conference team.

    The question is this: Will the new Amway Center become "The House that Dwight Built" or will all those seats be empty except when Dwight comes to town in another team's colors?

    Otis Smith and the franchise have a choice.

    The Magic fanbase is just praying they make the right one.