Right now all of the blogs and reporters are wrapped up in Chris Paul trade rumors. Fans of most teams are fixated on what their team should give up to get him.
The Knicks are two-thirds of the way there. If the Knicks sign CP3 as a free agent before next season, they have the pact in place.
Since the Knicks can’t realistically trade for Paul, obviously they should bide their time and hope CP3 doesn’t like his eventual new surroundings..
A golden opportunity is potentially emerging for the Knicks to truly have a title trio. Being the Knicks front office, they're probably too blind to see it.
The Knicks could be the front-runners for Dwight Howard. They just have to break up the wedding planners.
There’s no question from a pure basketball standpoint the Magic are best served by accepting one of the L.A. deals.
Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom would give the Magic a replacement for Howard while also giving them a viable PF. They would still be a playoff team.
And the Clippers could offer all kinds of talent. If they strike out on CP3, it would be a deal surrounding talented C DeAndre Jordan and SG Eric Gordon. These are legit building blocks for the future, and with good drafting could make the Magic viable down the road.
Which Team Offers the Magic the Best Deal For Howard?
There’s just one problem if you own the Magic or are responsible for its finances: None of those players mentioned would sell season tickets.
The Magic are desperate to keep Howard because of how much more valuable he makes the Magic brand.
LeBron leaving the Cavs downgraded the value of that team by as much as $250 million.
That’s Occupy Wall Street money.
From a business point of view, Orlando needs make a deal for which still allows them to have a face of the franchise to sell tickets, merchandise, and sponsorship deals. They have a state of the art arena that’s just 14 months old with over 100 suites, several bars and even a pricey restaurant.
They need the place to be packed. If not, the shiny new investment is a bust.
These circumstances dictate the Magic will not move Howard before the trade deadline. Unless someone the caliber of Blake Griffin is offered, the Magic will ride it out and hope they can make some magic of their own. They will amnesty Gilbert Arenas and try to lure a couple of free agents in an effort to patch together a contender.
They don’t have a choice.
When the deadline approaches, the Magic aren’t contenders, and Howard’s departure becomes a formality (if it isn’t already), the team will have to come to the table and take a deal.
But they also need to protect the financial aspect of the operation.
This is where Amar’e Stoudemire comes in. He is an Orlando native who would give Magic fans someone to believe in and help mitigate the feeling of devastation surrounding the departure of Howard.
Stat could be the face of the Magic. A local prodigy coming home to save the team no one wants. He’d be a hero.
We saw that Stat can handle being the face of the franchise in NY.
As for the Knicks, this move would make them immediate contenders. They would acquire the most underrated player in the league.
Look what Howard was working with in Orlando: Howard plus any four players equals a top-tier defensive team.
You pair him with players like Landry Fields and Jared Jeffries who can actually defend and the Knicks become threats on both sides of the court.
Plus, with a player like Melo, Howard won’t be relied on to have to establish an offensive game. He will get rebounds and outrun bigs down the floor for easy baskets in D’Antoni’s system. He won’t have to force awkward shots with his back to the hoop.
As for CP3, there are reports he and Howard have been in contact to try and team up down the road. Paul loves having an agile big man to throw alley-oops to, and Howard fits the bill nicely. Bringing in Dwight isn’t going to alienate CP3.
On top of that, having Howard makes the Knicks very attractive to any point guard. Great big men make point guards look better. Howard is CP3 insurance.
If CP3 enjoys his new team this year, the Knicks can successfully pursue Deron Williams or someone of his ilk.
Offering Stat for Howard is THE move the Knicks need to overtake the Heat & Bulls in upcoming seasons.
While the wedding trio is nice, Melo and Stat have offensive games that don’t mesh well, and neither is dedicated to defense.
Having Howard frees Melo on offense and gives the rest of the Knicks incentive to play on both sides of the floor. Greatness encourages change.
If NY pulls the trigger, they would have the best center in basketball, arguably the best offensive wing player, and one of the top point guards going into the 2012 season.
The foundation for a new championship banner in Madison Square Garden would be set.
For the Magic, a Howard for Stat swap is clearly the best business move which will be available to them at the deadline. They would still have a franchise player to market to the fans and maintain a high level of financial success.
All the Knicks have to do is open their eyes. They have to realize Amar'e Stoudemire is the best trade chip anyone will offer Orlando.
Whether the Knicks brass is smart enough to figure it out is another matter ...