NBA: Calling in Backup; 5 Players To Keep Superman, Dwight Howard, in Orlando
Dwight Howard is, by leaps and bounds, the best center in the league. He is an extremely dominant force and is improving each year. Just look at the playoffs, where he was arguably the best player until the Magic were eliminated.
Even the old Magic Superman, Shaq, who usually rips on Dwight, even said that he would be disappointed if he did not win three to four championships. Well, obviously Dwight can't do it alone, as his team has faltered in the playoffs the last three years due to the nonexistent help for Howard.
Well, here are five players that could come in and make a huge impact on Dwight's decision to stay or leave. Some are young and some are old. A few are bruising big men and a few are quick guards. However, all these players will improve the Magic's chances of winning the ultimate goal, the Larry O'Brien Trophy.
5. Zach Randolph
Wow! What a season this veteran big man has had. After being snubbed by the All-Star committee, he went on to lead his team past the first-seed San Antonio Spurs, and then went seven games with the up-and-coming Oklahoma City Thunder. Throughout this season, he has proven why he is one of the most dominant big men when he wants to be.
He has a full offensive arsenal, as he can post-up and face-up. He can't hit the three with consistency and is a pretty good defender. However, his most important asset is his toughness and leadership. Two things the Magic really need.
It would be a slight miracle to pry him from the Grizzlies, but as long as GM Chris Wallace is in Memphis, anything is possible. May we reflect on the Pau Gasol trade?
With the addition of Randolph, the Magic would be clear-cut favorites. However, they would have to give up a few picks and probably Turkoglu, Nelson or Bass.
4. Carlos Boozer
Remember the dominant force that Carlos Boozer was just one year ago in Utah. Well, since coming to Chicago, he has just not had the drive and energy we saw with the Jazz. It all started with the injury that occurred in the beginning of the season. Supposedly, he fell in his house when the lights were off. Well, he missed quite some time and just didn't find his groove. Throughout the Bulls' playoff run, he was inconsistent to say the least.
Well, the Bulls I bet would love to unload that hefty contract. Boozer would bring much-needed strength and leadership to the "soft" Magic. A frontcourt of Boozer, Turkoglu and Dwight would be really unstoppable, and Boozer would blend right in.
However, the Magic would have to give up a few picks, Nelson or Bass, and Gilbert Arenas to balance out the trade.
3. Andre Iguodala
The Philadelphia 76ers are in a youth movement, and Iguodala does not seem to be in their plans. With Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes leading the way, Iggy is looking like another AI that is on his way out of Philly. However, Iggy is still young at 27 and would be a great addition to a championship contender.
Orlando would love to obtain Iggy, as he would bring toughness, a penetrator and a defensive stopper. It has been said that he is a great locker room presence with his strong work ethic and determination.
There have been many rumors surrounding Andre and the Magic, and most of them have Nelson and Bass going to Philly. This would be a very fair trade and maybe sending Arenas for Brand would make an even better deal for the Magic.
2. Russell Westbrook
A duo of Dwight Howard and Russell Westbrook would be insanely athletic and quite unstoppable. The 6'3" point guard was not very productive versus the Mavericks in the Western Conference finals, and brought up the question if he is the point guard of the future for the Thunder. There has been much speculation on whether Westbrook could develop into a true point guard.
Well, the addition of Westbrook to Orlando would be a small miracle. The Thunder are going to get tons of offers from teams, and the Magic just don't have many trade chips. However, if Russell ends up in Orlando the team would have a great guard for the future.
A trade would probably include Nick Collison and Russell Westbrook going to Orlando for Arenas, Nelson, Bass and a few picks.
1. Chris Paul
How long have Magic fans dreamed of the day CP3 joined DH12 to form the best point guard-center combo in the league? The answer is too long. It feels like it could happen every summer, but each year no deal takes place. Well, this is definitely the year.
There are a few reasons that this trade could occur. One of them is that both Paul and Howard have realized after their respective defeats to the Lakers and Hawks that they can't do it alone. Second, Nelson is just not working for the Magic. He is too streaky and is not a typical pass-first point guard. Third, the Hornets don't have an owner, so there will be no outside force who dictates what to do with their superstar.
With Paul, Orlando would become an instant contender. Howard and Paul are both relatively young and would be the cornerstones of the franchise for years to come. However, they would have to give up a few picks, and two out of the three of Nelson, Turkoglu and Bass.
Hopefully, this is the year when the Magic obtain CP3 from the Hornets.