NBA Trade Speculation: Possible Trade Package Knicks Can Offer for Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard becoming a New York Knick would solve two huge problems in the Big Apple.
For one, it would finally give the Knicks a center, the league's best center no less. Secondly, Howard would drastically improve the Knicks on the defensive side of the ball, something the Knicks are as desperate for as the center position.
If the Knicks were to trade for Howard, rest assured they will be giving up huge pieces of the team for the new Superman. The chances of Howard being in the same uniform as Carmelo and Stoudemire are extremely slim.
What works in the Knicks' favor is the possibility that sooner or later the Magic will be forced to trade Howard. The Magic will want to avoid the mistake they made with Shaq and the mistake Cleveland made with LeBron by letting those players go to free agency without getting anything in return.
Here are the different offers the Knicks can possibly make to acquire the Magic's star.
1. Amar'e for Howard
It would be a huge blow to Knicks fans, but a straight trade of Amar'e and Howard could work in terms of money and talent.
Both players are top stars on their team, more so Howard since he doesn't have a Carmelo as a teammate. The Magic would receive a top tier player although acquiring that contract would place some stress on the Magic's salary cap. The Magic would have to decide if Amar'e is a player the team could build around and if he is worth the risk given his injury history. Remember the Knicks were the only team willing to give Amar'e a $100 million-plus contract due to his tendency to be sidelined.
The only problem with this trade would be the loyalty issue. Amar'e Stoudemire rejuvenated the Knicks franchise in the eyes of the basketball world. The Knicks had no issues selling tickets before Amar'e, but the basketball world overlooked the Knicks as irrelevant before STAT gave the team a jump.
2. Carmelo for Howard
This trade would still be hard for Knicks fans but not as much as seeing STAT go.
Carmelo has only been on the team for half a season and hasn't had the moments Stoudemire had throughout the years, minus that incredible comeback attempt he lead in Round 1 of the playoffs against the Celtics.
The same situation holds true in this trade if STAT was the bargaining chip. Carmelo isn't as expensive as STAT, so the Magic would have a bit more cap room than if they traded for Stoudemire. What makes this trade make a bit more sense is the defensive play of Stoudemire. While neither Carmelo or Stoudemire are top defensive players, Stoudemire's D is much more productive than Carmelo's.
Again the Magic would receive a star player to build around.
3. Either Carmelo or Stoudemire Plus Chauncy Billups
This would simply sweeten the deal for the Magic. Sure the Magic would have to send some more players to even out contract figures, but they would be receiving a top-tier player plus a veteran with a lot of talent left in Billups. This would also make sense for the Knicks who can negotiate for more defensive minded players or release those players in order to recover cap room and sign other players.
There are those out there who suggest sending all three of these players down to Orlando for Howard. This proposition is absurd when taking into account how immediate the success would need to be for the Knicks. Howard couldn't win a title with his supporting cast in Orlando, which is by far superior to the roster currently in New York. How could he do it virtually alone? Let's not even think of the financial mess.
4. Release Billups, Trade Either Carmelo or Stoudemire Plus Any Other Player
Release Billups and free up over $13 million.
Next, send Carmelo or Stoudemire plus any other player the Magic ask for. Should that happen, you would have Dwight Howard alongside either Carmelo or Stoudemire with more money in the cap to shop around for a new point guard, or add to Howard's contract if he demands a higher price.
In this scenario, Stoudemire's defense and loyalty to the team gives him the advantage of staying in New York over Carmelo.
5. Wait, Release, Sign
The last option for the Knicks would be to wait until Howard is a free agent and get an idea for what he is going to be asking.
The Knicks will most likely be in direct contention with the Lakers, among other teams so planning who to release will be difficult. The Knicks would have to release several bench players plus either Billups, Carmelo or Stoudemire.
This scenario plays well into the Knicks' hands, but much of the cap room will go to Howard, leaving the Knicks with a possible Big Three and a Miami-like bench, or worse.