Last summer, the hottest name in the NBA off-season was Lebron James, this summer, it is Dwight Howard. Although he isn't a free agent this summer, the Orlando Magic are doing what most teams like the Denver Nuggets did to get rid of their superstar before they leave like Lebron James did when it was clear that he couldn't win a title in Cleveland.
It may seem like superstars want to go to a team that will automatically contend for a title but it doesn't seem that way for players like Deron Williams. Williams was traded from the Utah Jazz, who were atop of their conference, to go to the New Jersey Nets, who are among the worst teams in the league. Yet with such a drastic change in the atmosphere, Williams appears to be showing his interest to stay put in New Jersey thanks to the promising young center, Brook Lopez.
The Wizards may seem unlikely to some due to them being a lottery team for the past three years, but I came up with a scenario that would benefit both the Wizards and the Magic.
2012 First Round Draft Pick (lottery protected)
One thing every NBA team wants in return for a superstar is young assets. For example, the Denver Nuggets received multiple young pieces in return for Carmelo Anthony from the New York Knicks and they still ended up making the playoffs.
So if the Magic are going to trade Dwight Howard, why not get a player that has the potential to be a dominate big man similar to Howard?
And in case you don’t know who I’m referring to, I’m talking about JaVale McGee.
The Magic would be able to get a guarantee that Dwight Howard won’t “Lebron them”, and at the same time, they get a bad contract off their hands for more cap space. Yes, they are getting another one in reacquiring Rashard Lewis, but next year is his last year on his contract, so they won’t have to bear with him for long. Orlando can nitpick at what assets they want to surround McGee with thanks to the amount of young talent Washington has on their squad.
Well, first off, having Dwight Howard on your team automatically makes your team a playoff contender at the least. Also, having a core of John Wall, Dwight Howard, and Nick Young is very promising in the future. Any chance the Wizards have to acquire Dwight Howard should be taken, he is easily one of the most dominant centers of this era.
Unlike Orlando, the Wizards would then have a pretty dominant big three for the future. It puts themselves at an advantage much like the Miami Heat, where any of the three could go off at any given game.
First off, I would like to kill the rumor linking Dwight Howard and Gilbert Arenas to the L.A. Lakers for a package containing Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom, and some other assets. I know Andrew Bynum is a great young piece and Lamar gives the Magic some versatility, but in the long term this trade doesn’t seem that smart. Bynum can’t go a full season healthy and Odom’s career is about to go downhill because he has seemed to have reached his peak.
This trade wouldn’t be at the top of my list if I were GM Otis Smith, unless the Orlando Magic just want to be mediocre for the next few years along with taking a step back in progress year-by-year.
I honestly don’t think Dwight Howard will be in a Wizards uniform anytime in his career, but it would be really nice for the Wizards to try and trade for him. I’m not by any means against the rebuilding route that Washington has taken, but when there is an opportunity to get a superstar on the roster WITHOUT giving up your whole franchise, you have to at least explore your options.
If the trade were to go down, the Wizards would give up a lot of promising talent, but would immediately be favorites to contend for a title.