Friday, December 30, 2011

Let's Talk...Dwight Howard

One of the biggest questions coming into the season, and now during the season, is where the best center in the league, Dwight Howard, will end up long term. There has been much speculation, and though I am not impressed by the way Howard has addressed the speculation lately, he still is showing that he is the most effective big man in the game today.  With that being said, where he ends up for the long term can really affect the future of the NBA. Here, I will break down where he could go, and where I ultimately think he will go. 

Option 1. LA Lakers:

For fans (especially those in LA), this seems like it was meant to happen. This would bring another great center to the purple and gold to carry on the great legacies of Wilt, Kareem, and Shaq. Kobe would be paired with another great center, and the Lakers would have a guaranteed superstar to build around when the Kobester retires. Dwight would get the Hollywood market that he feels he deserves…maybe a Kazaam reboot? And Mike Brown’s defensive philosophy would work well with Howard, a renowned defensive player. 

However, the Buss family does not seem ready to move Andrew Bynum, and they definitely do not look to move both Bynum and Pau Gasol.

Option 2. NJ Nets:

Here Dwight has the opportunity to play for the Russian moneymaker Mikhail Prokhorov, an owner dedicated to winning. He can play with Deron Williams, one of the best point guards in the NBA. He can continue to develop under Avery Johnson, one of the best coaches in the NBA. Maybe Jay-Z can perform “Empire State of Mind” at every home game at halftime in order to steal the Knick faithful and bring them to the Barclays Center. 

However, I am not a fan of this move for Dwight. Have you seen the Nets? This move does not put them ahead of Miami, and it is going to be mighty difficult to make New York a Net city over the Knicks. Besides, the Magic do not seem too attracted to the idea of replacing Howard with Brook Lopez and two draft picks, and I don’t blame them.

Option 3. Chicago Bulls:

There are many reasons why I feel this is a great option. 1. Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose. 2. Dwight Howard and Tom Thibodeau. 3. The idea of the Bulls fully recovering from the Jordan era. 4. Chicago is a great market.

Chicago has the trade assets that should attract Orlando, especially since Joakim Noah is a Florida Alum. I hear that Carlos Boozer and Howard are friends too. Noah, Deng, and Gibson, 1st round picks, and fillers for Dwight and Hedo makes sense. However, there are terrible excuses for why this trade will not happen. Supposedly, Adidas has something to do with it. People say Rose hasn’t reached out to Dwight enough. Dwight wants warmer weather (how are the winters in New York by the way?). Ultimately, I think it comes down to the fact that Dwight does not want to go to a team where he is not the most important player on the team going into the future. Mr. Rose deservingly holds that title in Chi-town.

Option 4. Atlanta Hawks:

Rumors of this idea have recently surfaced, and it is quite intriguing. Dwight is from Atlanta, and he and Josh Smith are good friends; Dwight has expressed his interest in playing with Smith. Al Horford, a Florida Alum, will attract Orlando fans so the trade assets are there. 

Option 5. Stay with the Magic:

I simply don’t see it happening.

Option 6. Dallas Mavericks or Boston Celtics:
Both of these teams have the money to sign him in the offseason. If Orlando cannot move him before the season ends, look for these two franchises to be major players in the summer for him.

So out of these 6 options, where do I see him going?

After much debate with JR, I predict he will be with the Atlanta Hawks. I don’t think the Hawks are the best option, but by process of elimination, this trade is the one that seems to hold the most weight. The Lakers simply don’t want to give up both Pau and Bynum, and if I was Orlando, I would not ask for anything less than those two. With Brook Lopez out for some time, and Orlando’s disinterest in him in the first place, I don’t see New Jersey landing him. Chicago simply has too many excuses why it won’t happen. Dwight is not going to stay with Orlando, and the Magic cannot afford to lose him to free agency to Dallas or Boston, unless they really want Dwight to donate money to local Boys & Girls Club in his “Decision”. 

So here is the trade idea: Atlanta trades Jeff Teague, Joe Johnson, Al Horford, and two future first round draft picks to Orlando for Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu, and Jason Richardson.

Here, the Magic receive veteran and young players that will keep them in the playoffs, and as mentioned earlier, Al Horford will attract Orlando fans. I know many may ask why would the Magic take on Joe Johnson’s contract, but look at the Magic’s history; (Grant Hill, Juwan Howard, Rashard Lewis, Gilbert Arenas, many players on their current roster) this is not a bad deal. Joe Johnson is a quiet leader, and is the 3rd best shooting guard in the NBA.

This is just my opinion. I’m more than open to seeing where the FANatics see Dwight ultimately landing and why. Let me know your thoughts.

- Joker

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