Whenever the NBA does start back up again, the drama surrounding the future home of Dwight Howard will kick into high gear. Whether you are at home, at work, in class, or at your local diner, if you are a fanatic like myself you will be checking Netsdaily constantly to be in tune with the latest.
On one hand, we're all hoping to see that explosive drama quelling headline akin to that beautiful and relieving 23rd day of February when we all read at the top of Netsdaily, "Nets Get Deron Williams!". On the other hand, at the same time we are all wishing that we don't see the nearly dream crushing headline, "Breaking News: D12 and D-Rose Form Powerhouse in Chi-Town"
Let's face it, us fans here at Netsdaily are fanatics and the mix of emotions that comes along with the plausible trade scenarios involving a franchise changer of this magnitude can be downright overwhelming at times. On one hand our team can be shot into the realm of absolute relevance and championship contention while on the other, we can end up having to dispute for months about how the front office is going to assemble a squad that can compete with the monsters down in South Beach and the potential monster duo which could be formed in Chi-Town. I'll still be kickin it with the Brooklyn Nets even if Dwight does happen to land somewhere other than with us but how sweet would it be if we could just be rest assured that we will have a foundation of Brooklyn, D12, and D-Will to build everything else on? As fanatics we all wish.
We’re all hoping that Dwight lands in Brooklyn to kickoff a bright and more stress free future for us as Nets fans. We’re hoping that one day we can see an unquestionably focused D-Will and D12 in crunch time at the Barclays Center with Jay-Z’s "Brooklyn We Go Hard" bangin’ in the background with the crowd unquestionably behind them rumbling in support for the W. Just imagine the crowd in harmony, "B R O…Ohhh K…L Y N…COME AGAIN!" For now it's all a dream. Nets fans can only send influential tweets to D12 and hope (with or without landing Howard) that all goes according to the front office's plan for a competitive product on the floor on opening night in Brooklyn. If it ain't Howard, hopefully it's Nene/Chandler and Prince. But all that is besides the point and focus. This fan base is not looking for competitive. This fan base and the front office has their sights set on seeing this team have a dominant presence.
The hints have been dropped. Howard is impressed with Brooklyn and the rapidly rising Barclays Center. He mentioned wanting to play with D-will and Morrow. He mentioned wanting to play in the big market. He mentioned wanting to be an icon with a lasting legacy. With that information in mind it seems as if Dwight wants to be apart of the bright future we see in our franchise but it’s not that easy if this all doesn’t come to free agency because this is one of the league's most coveted players and there are other teams with whom Dwight could achieve his goals. So the question for us as fans who will be following all this drama is: Who among D12’s suitors should we be worried about and who shouldn’t make us a break a sweat as all this drama unfolds?
This reference was used for the following: http://www.hoopsworld.com/lets-trade-dwight-howard/
Who to Worry About
Chicago – The Bulls as an organization and Chicago as a city can help Dwight achieve many of his aspirations. It is a team that can have a very good trade offer consisting of quality young talent and savings for Orlando. In addition, they are team that Dwight may not hesitate to sign an extension with considering they were really only a legit star away from winning it all last year. With the exception of the Boozer signing, the front office is solid. In Chicago, Dwight would be playing for a very well respected defensive coach as well as with the league’s reigning MVP, Derrick Rose. Although D-Rose isn’t a pass first point guard, and he also is not among the point guards that Dwight mentioned in the ‘5 players he’d like to play with list’, D-Rose has shown the killer instinct and desire to win it all. For winning rings and becoming even more prominent inside and outside the league as an icon, playing with D-Rose in Chi-town may be Dwight’s answer for a future destination.
Miami - Hoopsworld brought up a great point that Miami could flip LBJ or Wade for D12. This is clearly the best deal that Orlando could get. With the possibility of having a Wade/LBJ-Dwight combo, Miami would have to think long and hard about not dealing one of the two conflicting (overlapping) talents considering the fact that teaming up an interior defensive presence such as Dwight with Wade/Lebron and Bosh would be so much more of a conducive foundation for winning future championships than what they have in place now.
Clippers – as Hoopsworld stated in their Lets Trade Dwight article, the Clippers could likely offer the best package to Orlando. With the savings from expirings, a trade piece like Kaman, quality young talent like DeAndre and Aminu, and the Timberwolves (likely lottery bound) pick, Orlando would get almost everything they’re looking for in a trade for rebuilding. One would have to think that the Clippers would strongly think about pulling the trigger on a trade like this even if Howard was non-commital on signing an extension. After their rough start, the Clippers showed last year how much noise they could make. One could only imagine the type of noise they could make with Howard anchoring the D. Although no one saw them as having a chance in the sweepsteaks for Lebron, they were there, playing the game like our front office, trying to convince James to join their beleaguered franchise.
Since then, their franchise has really gotten the attention of those all around the league and fans everywhere because of Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon, and their nice young and upcoming talent. Despite how incompetent their management can seem at times, we should fully be expecting them to use the various assets they have to go after either Dwight, CP3, or both. Other than the aforementioned trade pieces from the Hoopworld article, this team has so many desirable young players that Orlando could covet. The Clippers have various trade scenarios that they could put on the table for the Magic.
There are some prominent problems with the possibility of Howard joining the Clippers franchise: (1) Could Howard share the limelight (which he seems to want for his own) with Griffin? Is the frontcourt even big enough for those two beasts? (2) Does Dwight want to join another shaky front office with Sterling at the helm given his less than pleasurable experience in Orlando with the front office?
Even if Howard is non-commital, the Clippers may gamble Billy King style and have D12 join the likes of Griffin, Gordon, Bledsoe, and company for the season and see how he likes the bright lights of Hollywood with some very nice up and coming talent. This team could make some serious noise. If the Clippers are in a gambling mood, Howard’s attempt to force the Magic’s hand may be useless as the Clippers could have all that Orlando is looking for in a trade for their departing star. Like OKC, the Clippers could also go the route of pursuing CP3 instead by offering a player the caliber of Eric Gordon in exchange. God knows CP3 would be a hell of a fit in LA with Griffin.
Weak Outside Chance of Landing Howard
OKC – OKC is very much in the same situation that Chicago and Clippers are in with the very appealing potential package that they could offer Orlando in terms of quality young talent. The difference being (and this could or could not be a big difference to Dwight) is clearly the market that Dwight would be in. If Dwight can imagine building his icon and legacy through his winning in the league, maybe he could imagine coming into OKC and competing for a ring right away with Durantula. OKC has a fairly good financial situation which would allow them to absorb contracts that Orlando may want to send their way and also make up for the holes made in a trade that would probably involve sending Ibaka, Harden, and Perkins to the Magic. If Orlando likes the trade out of OKC and OKC wouldn’t mind taking a gamble on a non-committal Howard, they could make a run for a title with Howard as a rental. A more plausible scenario in my mind for them would be making a trade for CP3 involving Westbrook and other pieces. I think they would rather take that gamble considering the fact that Westbrook caused most of the static on that team during the playoffs. GM Sam Presti seems like a guy who has a good knack for maintaining chemistry. CP3 could fit right into OKC and really enhance the good chemistry the team already has. A trade that swaps CP3 and Westbrook would work for both NO and OKC.
Who to Not Really Worry About
Lakers - the packages mentioned by Hoopsworld and above are much more conducive for rebuilding than what the Lakers could offer Orlando. If the Magic front office wants to continue their streak of bad decisions, they’ll gamble on a liability like Bynum and invest big money on an aging player like Gasol or Odom which would just maintain their bad cap situation. In addition, the draft picks obtained from the Lakers would not be very favorable for the Magic as well. With this trading partner, I think the incompetence of the Magic front office is more of a threat to us losing in the Howard sweepstakes than the Lakers organization's assets.
Knicks - Duhhh Garden, asbestos, a front office in turmoil is enough said but I'll explain to comfort those who think the Knicks could land Howard. I don’t believe in the trade scenario that Hoopsworld gave involving Billups, Fields, Turiaf, Bill Walker, Toney Douglas, a 2018 draft pick, and the 2020 rights to a middle school Phys. Ed basketball star. A trade involving Amare is more plausible given that the Magic may want to have someone that could put butts in their arena which is still new. In this scenario, I think it’s really up to Dwight to know that he shouldn’t accept a trade to NY and state that he’s not willing to extend with them. If Dwight’s been displeased with front office decisions in Orlando, he’s in for a treat under Dolan because bad front office decisions is the asbestos they have been trying to clear out of MSG for over a decade.
Jazz – They have quality to offer but not enough in talent in place to keep Howard there if he were to be a rental for them.
WIth all that said, I'm particularly afraid of the Bulls and the Clippers landing Dwight. Hopefully he's Brooklyn bound. Who do you guys think has the best shot of landing Dwight other than the Nets?