Dwight Howard has been the centerpiece of the franchise for over seven years now and has led the team to numerous playoff appearances and the NBA Finals. However, it seems that Dwight's time in Orlando has come to an end.
If worse comes to worse, and the inevitable happens, then there are five potential trade partners that could help Orlando quickly rebuild for the future.
Dwight slams on Warriors
Marcus Thompson, the Warriors Beat Writer for the Bay Area News Group, reports:
One of the sources said Golden State is trying to get the Hornets to take Monta and pieces for CP3 instead of Curry. Not only can Curry play shooting guard because of his stroke, but he clearly has the most value and may help the Warriors make a serious play for Dwight Howard.
If the New Orleans Hornets agree to a Monta Ellis-for-Chris Paul swap, then this does open up the very real possibility that the Orlando Magic could make a deal with the Warriors around Stephen Curry.
However, if a deal does come to fruition between the Hornets and Warriors, New Orleans will probably be vying for more than just Ellis, as he is not their first choice. The Warriors would probably have to give up two out of the three of Klay Thompson, Dorell Wright and Ekpe Udoh.
With that trade completed the Magic then have an opportunity to trade for Stephen Curry, the young sharpshooter out of Davidson, along with one out of the three mentioned above. Plus, the Magic would probably want to add on a few draft picks.
I see this as a win-win for all parties, as the Warriors become relevant again, the Magic start the rebuilding process and Howard finally pairs up with a superstar.
Dwight Howard over DeAndre Jordan
According to ESPN, an anonymous source has revealed that the Clippers will not part ways with DeAndre Jordan or Eric Gordon in attempts to bring Chris Paul to Los Angeles. However, I believe the Magic could easily swing a deal with the Clippers to include both of these players.
Not only is Howard younger than CP3, but he also has a far better track record when it comes to health. Plus, in a league filled with many sub-par starting centers, Howard creates a matchup nightmare each and every night for Clipper opponents.
For Orlando, they receive two young talented players who are just starting to blossom in the league. Eric Gordon averaged an astounding 22.3 points per game for a rebuilding Los Angeles team last season. As for Jordan, he has proved to be a more than capable starter who has tons of potential.
There has been absolutely no talk of a deal between these two teams, but I think it makes perfect sense for both squads.
The trade would probably include the likes of D.J. Augustin, Kemba Walker, Bismack Biyombo and a pick or two for Dwight Howard. Not only does Michael Jordan finally acquire the star player he is looking for, but Orlando is in the perfect situation to rebuild for the future.
For Charlotte the addition of Dwight Howard opens up the door for other stars to test the waters in Charlotte, as many players want to team up with the best center in the league.
As for Orlando, they acquire the best college basketball player last year in Kemba Walker, who could lead this team to greatness in a few years just like his old UConn squad. In addition they would acquire a raw, but talented big man in Bismack Biyombo and a younger upgrade at the point guard position in D.J. Augustin.
This is another team that has not openly stated if it has a desire to trade for Dwight Howard. If they do decide to join the Howard sweepstakes then they would be a perfect trade partner, as they have a lot of valuable, young, cheap assets.
A trade between these two teams would probably have Howard going to the Wizards in exchange for rookie forward Jan Vesely, center JaVale McGee, and a few draft picks.
For Washington they receive a nearly unstoppable tandem of Dwight Howard and John Wall. This would finally make them relevant in a conference that has become pretty weak. The Wizards have not experienced this type of excitement since the threesome of Caron Butler, Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison.
For Orlando, they are placed in a position that is perfect for rebuilding. They may not win many games there first few seasons, but with the addition of these gravity-defying players the Magic could make a push for a playoff berth in the near future.
If you thought the John Wall and Dwight Howard tandem was scary, then a Howard-Durant pairing would be downright frightening. This duo would automatically challenge LeBron James and Dwyane Wade as the best pair in the league.
However, there has been little to no talk of Oklahoma City wanting to make a play for Howard. Instead, they are more focused on fellow superstar, Chris Paul. Anyway, a possible trade between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Orlando Magic would probably have Howard being exchanged for Russell Westbrook, a first-round pick, and either Serge Ibaka or James Harden.
This deal would work perfectly for both sides, as Orlando receives an absolute stud point guard and a few phenomenal pieces for the future. For Oklahoma City, they would be able to match up physically with any team in the West, including the Los Angeles Lakers, and challenge the Western conference for supremacy.
If there is any trade Orlando should try to explore, this would be the deal.