Dwight Howard Trade Speculation: 10 Teams That Could Bring in the Magic Center

Kyle Vassalo@VassaloBRFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2011

Dwight Howard Trade Speculation: 10 Teams That Could Bring in the Magic Center

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    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    The Magic are not going to be anything more than a one-and-done playoff team they choose to try to build on its 2010-2011 roster going into the 2011-2012 season.

    While Dwight Howard is a superstar and the best big man in the NBA, he can't take the current roster any further than the conference semifinals, at best.

    The Magic don't want to have his contract expire and have him enter free agency with nothing to show for it, e.g. LeBron James, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, etc.

    Teams are going to be lining up the door for Howard. Who has enough talent on their roster to trade without decimating their own roster? Here are 10 teams that might have the assets to bring in Howard.

Golden State Warriors

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    The Warriors are riddled with backcourt talent. Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry are both elite guards of the next generation. Ellis isn't Dwyane Wade and Curry isn't Chris Paul, but in a few years both of them are going to be considered one of the best at their respective position.

    Ellis would be an All-Star elsewhere, but he is bogged down by the small market and shortcomings of the Warriors. Even so, the Magic could find Ellis to be an attractive target. It is probably also going to want David Lee, but the Warriors would likely do anything they could to keep him.

    While the Warriors may not be a playoff team, they are riddled with talent. They need to shake up their franchise and the small ball they have been playing has proved ineffective. What better way to jumpstart the franchise than to bring in Howard?

Atlanta Hawks

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    ATLANTA - MAY 10:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic blocks a shot by Al Horford #15 of the Atlanta Hawks during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on May 10, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO US
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The Hawks might be the least interested in Howard of any team on this list. They have a good thing going and are currently making a push to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

    While they could upset everyone by walking away with a championship this year, odds are they still need one guy to push them over the edge.

    Al Horford is a solid, young big man. He nearly averages a double-double and is only 24. He isn't Dwight Howard, though. The Hawks have problems rebounding the ball and could use one of the best rebounders and defenders in basketball to lock up the paint.

    They have young talent to deal and are going to have to part ways with some of it to land Howard. Joe Johnson is off limits, but dealing anyone else on roster should not be out of the question.

New Orleans Hornets

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    ORLANDO, FL - OCTOBER 10:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets attempts a shot against Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic during the game at Amway Arena on October 10, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Chris Paul and Dwight Howard would be the best tandem since Kobe and Shaq. The Hornets don't have any superstars other than Paul and trading him away would be counterproductive.

    They could find the trade worth scrapping the rest of their team though. Emeka Okafor, Marco Belinelli, Trevor Ariza and Carl Landry should all be considered movable pieces.

    Paul's contract ends in 2012. If the Hornets decide not to part ways with him, they need to show him they are taking steps necessary to become a contender. They could dump their entire roster and trade a first-round draft pick away and still be at least as good as they were in the 2010-2011 season.

    The Magic doesn't land any mind-blowing talent in this trade, which could be a deterrent.

Portland Trailblazers

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    PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 23:  Brandon Roy #7 high fives LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the Portland Trail Blazers against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 23, 2011 at the Rose Garden in Port
    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    The Portland Trail Blazers thought they were getting their big man of the future when they drafted Greg Oden.

    They have talented pieces in Portland, but are nowhere near a championship. LaMarcus Aldridge would soften the blow of losing Dwight Howard, as he too is a big man who can put up points and rebound.

    Brandon Roy and Andre Miller are usable assets that the Magic could also consider dealing. At this point in Marcus Camby's career, he doesn't hold any value. It may seem like they would be giving up a lot to get Howard, but he would immediately add at least five wins and allow them to compete in the West.

Sacramento Kings

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    OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 21:  Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors drives on DeMarcus Cousins #15 and Tyreke Evans #13 of the Sacramento Kings at Oracle Arena on January 21, 2011 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Don't underestimate the power of drafting high every year for multiple years in a row. The Thunder rose from the ashes to become a powerhouse in the West by scoring in the draft a few years in a row.

    The Kings are going to be selecting early again this year, barring a poor draw in the lottery. Tyreke Evans has all the makings of a special player and DeMarcus Cousins is still only 20 years old.

    The Kings could choose to either deal Cousins or Evans. It would give them either the best front court in basketball by pairing Cousins with Howard or piece together a more complete team by coupling Evans with Howard.

    If the Kings were willing to deal Cousins or Evans, they have expendable players on roster that they could throw in to push the deal over the edge. No one should be considered untouchable in Sacramento. The team is in disarray and on the move, in all likelihood.

Memphis Grizzlies

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    PHOENIX - DECEMBER 08:  Rudy Gay #22 of the Memphis Grizzlies reacts with Xavier Henry #13 after Gay hit the game tying three point shot against the Phoenix Suns at the end of regulation in the NBA game at US Airways Center on December 8, 2010 in Phoenix,
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The Grizzlies are on the cusp of being a great basketball team. They have players who present serious trade value and could spark the interest of the Magic.

    Zach Randolph is going to become an unrestricted free agent, so he can't be part of this deal. Mike Conley is a piece they will want to build around, but everyone else should be fair game.

    O.J. Mayo has fizzled somewhat in Memphis. He comes with serious baggage, but could also be a contributor in Orlando. Marc Gasol has proven to be an effective big man and could help fill the void with the departure of Howard.

    They would probably need to throw in another big name to make the trade go through. The team has proven to be successful even without Rudy Gay. They could include him in this deal and make a serious push to obtain Howard.

Chicago Bulls

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    ATLANTA, GA - MAY 08:  Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls waits during a free throw by the Atlanta Hawks in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Phillips Arena on May 8, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    It seems inevitable that Derrick Rose will come away with a ring one day to set next to the multiple MVP trophies that are bound to start accumulating on his mantle.

    The Bulls are still very much so alive in the NBA playoffs. They won 62 games this year and produced the league's MVP. Why mess up a good thing?

    They have to compete with the Heat in the East. Rose could arguably be the third best player on the floor when they do so. They are going to need backup to compete, not just this year, but year in and year out.

    They are loaded with talent. Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Ronnie Brewer and Carlos Boozer are all a huge part of what they do. This is a superstar-driven league, though, and championship teams need multiple superstars to come away with a ring.

    With the addition of Howard, the Bulls would have a huge advantage over the Heat in the paint. They have plenty of talent on the team, so they will be able to keep the core of their team intact while acquiring Howard. Twenty-five-year-old Howard and 22-year-old Rose could dominate the NBA for years to come.

Dallas Mavericks

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    DALLAS, TX - MAY 08:  Guard Jason Terry #31 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts after a three-point shot with Jose Juan Barea against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2011 at Americ
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    The Mavs need to find out who they are going to be once the Dirk Nowitzki era comes to a close. They collectively dominated the Lakers, but they could find themselves in an identity crisis once Nowitzki decides to call it quits.

    Howard gives them something to build around and could keep them relevant once Nowitzki retires. They have a big man in Tyson Chandler, and he and Brenden Haywood are nice, but they aren't Howard. The team is aging and a youth movement is in order.

    Corey Brewer and J.J. Barea are the only truly valuable young pieces on the team. Chandler could still be traded, as he is only 28 years old, despite his long tenure in the league. They would need to part with draft picks and throw in one of their aging legends to make this deal go through, but it's in the best interest of their franchise to do so.

Oklahoma City Thunder

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    MEMPHIS, TN - MAY 09:  James Harden #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder celebrates during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum on May 9, 2011 in Memphis, Tennessee.The
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The Thunder has arguably the most promising young talent in the NBA. Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and James Harden are all 22 or younger.

    Harden has been somewhat disappointing for Thunder, but still holds a ton of value. He was a lethal scorer in college and could develop into a great shooting guard. His upside could be the basis for which this trade is made.

    The Thunder is a Dwight Howard away from owning the West. If it included Westbrook in this trade, you could consider the deal done. Unless the Magic gives a little more than just Howard, Westbrook isn't going anywhere.

    The Thunder is one of the few teams with multiple players that Howard could be traded for straight up.

Los Angeles Lakers

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 20:  Pau Gasol #16 and Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrate as Bynum comes to the bench while taking on the New Orleans Hornets in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 2
    Harry How/Getty Images

    You had to know this was coming. Andrew Bynum has been tied to Dwight Howard trade speculation since it began. The fact of the matter is, Bynum doesn't come close to Howard in terms of talent, upside, leadership, production, etc.

    Pau Gasol went completely AWOL in the series against the Mavs, which may even put him on the block. Kobe Bryant isn't going to get many more shots at a ring.

    The Lakers can go back to the early 2000s format, with Howard being Shaq. The Lakers wouldn't lose their length down low and could still manage to probably keep one big man. After watching the Lakers get swept, it became clear that serious change was in order.

    It is unclear whether or not Phil Jackson is ever going to coach again. Whoever comes in is going to need to make serious changes to ensure the Lakers don't fall off the face the earth. They want to avoid the fate of the Spurs by bringing in a young star who can cover up Kobe's regression for the time being and give them direction moving forward.