Dwight Howard will not re-sign with the Orlando Magic, so the team will be wise to deal D-Howard to the New Jersey Nets in a trade. As reported in the Orlando Sentinel Nov. 30, the Nets are offering 23-year-old center Brook Lopez and two future first-round draft picks for Howard and power forward Hedo Turkoglu.
Howard, who's turning 26 in a week, is clearly the NBA's top center and has hinted that he doesn't want to play with the Magic beyond 2012, as Orlando has failed to surround him with the talent to win a championship.
Howard hasn't signed an extension and has stated he will test the free-agent market.
The Magic are aware of the situation and don't want to lose Howard for nothing. By taking the Nets' generous offer, they can make out like bandits.
The reason why the Nets are going to be generous is because owner Mikhail Prokhorov said he has "another plan" after losing the LeBron James sweepstakes and wants to persuade star point guard Deron Williams to sign an extension.
Having both Howard and Williams together would be beneficial for a Nets team that will move to Brooklyn for the 2012-13 season.
Now, the Magic should take advantage of this trade.
Lopez is a solid scorer who could replace Howard's solid production. He is a good shot blocker who has averaged 1.7 rejections a game. With his youth, the Magic could use Lopez as a key building block in the future.
As for the future first draft picks, the Magic would have more of a chance to replenish their team with top college talent or use those picks to trade for an important piece.
The Nets are also willing to take Turkoglu, who is owed $34.2 million over the next three years, which would allow the Magic to further concentrate on rebuilding the team.
They could also use the amnesty clause on disappointing shooting guard Gilbert Arenas instead of Turkoglu, making the Magic have millions in cap room to sign a potential star in next year's free-agent class, which includes restricted free agents Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook.
The Magic are only on borrowed time with Howard, and he could disappear without any compensation. Trading Howard to the Nets for Lopez while getting rid of Turkoglu's contract and receiving draft picks is an offer the Magic shouldn't refuse.