Dwight Howard is a free agent in 2012.
Dwight Howard will be a free agent in 2012, even if there is a season in 2011. Here are five logical teams that Howard might be able to force himself to:
First, could the Magic re-sign him? No doubt they could, but it may affect how they get other players. So could they trade him to try and get something for him? Howard has told the Magic that he would like to continue playing for them, but will the Magic have enough money to pay him, and if they don't want to, where might Howard land?
Let's find out.
As you all know Shaquille O'Neal started his career in Orlando. So has Dwight Howard. Shaq was the first Superman, and Howard has called himself that, now.
Would it be ironic if Howard went to L.A. just like Shaq did after both starting their careers in Orlando?
Perhaps a little.
Let's take a look at the situation:
Howard wants a championship. The Magic have gotten to the playoffs, even the NBA Finals, but fell short, maybe missing that elite guard.
The Lakers have that in Kobe Bryant. Yes, Bryant is getting older, but he has at least five years left in him, maybe more.
The only question is if the Lakers get Howard, what do they do with Pau Gasol? The obvious answer would be trade him, but wait. Maybe hold onto Gasol, and trade Bynum.
This would give Bryant at least a few more rings.
Dwight Howard to the Chicago Bulls would be the perfect fit. Let's face it, the Bulls are so close to winning a championship.
This may give Howard the best opportunity to win multiple rings.
Now you may thinking, wait don't the Bulls have Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer?
Likely if the Bulls were to make a trade, they would have to package Joakim Noah, and possibly Luol Deng. Carlos Boozer is aging, and has a hefty contract that Orlando would surely want to pass on.
Plus, Noah and Deng would be solid players in return for Howard.
If Howard were to become a free agent, the Bulls would likely have to get rid of a player, like Boozer, who has a salary that takes a lot of cap space.
This to me would be the best fit for Howard.
Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook would be deadly. It would spell NBA championships down the road.
Add in James Harden and Serge Ibaka. That is a complete team.
But would the Thunder have to give up their core players to land Howard?
First, we don't know if Howard will be let go to free agency, and if he isn't the Thunder have the best package to offer for Howard.
Westbrook comes to mind first. Yes, he is a pivotal player for Thunder but held them back in the playoffs, often hogging the ball, and wanting to take the last shot against the Mavericks in the conference finals.
Harden, Eric Maynor may also be options that the Thunder could give up.
Throw in Nick Collison or Kendrick Perkins, and the Magic would be getting a good deal.
There is no way that the Thunder would give up Westbrook, Harden, and Maynor.
The New York Knicks have money and Dwight Howard plus Amare Stoudemire would make the Knicks tough to matchup against.
Just think, opponents would have trouble getting rebounds against this duo.
This trade would work if the Magic and Knicks traded Howard for Stoudemire straight up, but I doubt that would happen as the Knicks have too much invested in Stoudemire.
Plus, let's be real, is this really feasible? The Knicks don't need a big man, what they need is a point guard. Chauncey Billups is getting too old.
Howard would entertain an offer from the Knicks if they came calling, but I am just not sure if he would accept with Stoudemire already there.