The Dwight Howard Sweepstakes: How good are our chances?

We all want Dwight Howard. He is a top-3 player in the league and he could singlehandedly change out team. But how good are our odds exactly? Here is a detailed breakdown of every team in the league and their chances of obtaining the superstar Center, organized in divisions that are admittedly arbitrary.

THE NO CHANCE IN HELL DIVISION: Travis Outlaw has a better chance of scoring 75 PPG next year than these teams have of getting Dwight.

Cleveland: No attractive players, small market, and to top it off, they don’t even have significant cap space. Odds: 0%

Toronto: Again, no attractive players, with significant money tied up in guys like Calderon, Bargnani, Barbosa, Amir Johnson, and Linas Kleiza. Cross them off the list. Odds: 0%

Minnesota: They are paying significant money to Brad Miller, Darko Milicic, and Nikola Pekovic, and their one good player would take all of Dwight’s rebounds. To top it off, they play in Minnesota. MINNESOTA. Odds: 0%

Boston: Very, very old. Chris Paul wouldn’t sign there, why would Dwight? Allen and Garnett are gone next year and even if they resign this team has their arrow firmly pointed downwards. Odds: 0%

Washington: Just a bad, bad team. They have cap space, but John Wall alone isn’t enough to lure Dwight. Odds: 0%

Utah: Not a bad team, but a small market, not much cap space, and no stars to team with. Odds: 0%

San Antonio: See Boston and replace “Allen and Garnett” with “Duncan.” Odds: 0%

Sacramento: Not a big market and this team is just bad. Cousins is a headcase, Evans had an off year. No stars to team with here either. Odds: 0%

Phoenix: Small market and aside from Steve Nash, this team is awful. If Dwight wants to team with a great point guard that much, he’ll come to the Nets. Odds: 0%

Philadelphia: Dwight wants the chance to win championships now, and while Philly is getting better they still aren’t quite at that level yet. Odds: 0%

New Orleans: Chris Paul is looking to leave. What does that say about this franchise? Odds: 0%

Milwaukee: Small market, not a very good team, and big money tied up in Drew Gooden, Stephen Jackson, and Andrew Bogut (another center). Odds: 0%

Indiana: Small market, and this team just isn’t very good. Odds: 0%

Detroit: Big money tied up in Rip Hamilton, Ben Gordon, and Charlie Villanueva, and there aren’t any good players to speak of here either. Odds: 0%

Charlotte: Small market, bad team, big money tied up in Corey Maggette and Tyrus Thomas. Michael Jordan can’t sway Dwight to come here. Odds: 0%

So there we have already crossed off half the league. Moving on:

THE LOTTERY DIVISION: These teams have about as good a chance at Dwight as you have of winning the lottery tomorrow. Slim chance, sure, but a better chance than Outlaw averaging 75 points.

Atlanta: Yes, Dwight is from Atlanta. Yes, their team beat his in the playoffs last year. But even if they amnesty Joe Johnson (unlikely in my opinion), they still won’t have the cap space to give him a max and even if they did I doubt he’d sign up to play with the likes of Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford, and Marvin Williams. Odds: 1%

Denver: They have tons of cap space and a few decent young players in Ty Lawson and Danilo Gallinari, but this team can’t offer a market satisfactory to a big star (see Carmelo Anthony). Odds: 1%

THE INVISIBLE HORSES DIVISION: These are dark horses so dark that you can barely see them.

Chicago: Offers a big market, but this will always be Michael Jordan’s town. Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer are probably not the type of players Dwight is looking for, either. Not a lot of cap space either. Odds: 1%

Golden State: Offers a solid pair of young guards in Steph Curry and Monta Ellis (who he reportedly likes), but also offers a small market, and an overpaid pair of bigs in Andris Biedrins and David Lee. Odds: 1%

Miami: LeBron and Wade are attractive, but Miami would have to get creative in order to obtain Howard. They’d probably have to trade Bosh for him, and I doubt they’d be disloyal enough to sell out CB this quickly. Odds: 1%

Memphis: Big money tied up in Randolph and Gay, but this is a solid team. However, it’s a smaller market and there are no “stars” per se for Dwight to team with. As good as Zach Randolph is, he’s not exactly a global star. His game doesn’t mesh with Dwight’s either. Odds: 2%

New York: BUTTT TEHHHH GAHHHDEEENN!!! Dwight wouldn’t mix with Anthony and Stoudemire and they wouldn’t have cap to give him a max. They also have no supporting cast. Odds: 2%

Dallas: This is Dirk’s undisputed team, and Dwight would not want to live in his shadow. Plus he may not want to commit to a team with such a short championship window. And finally, with their cap space, they’re going to need to get creative in order to accommodate Dwight. Odds: 3%.

THE NEW YORK JETS DIVISION: If everything goes right for this team, they get all the breaks, then they could make a run at Dwight. They probably couldn’t finish the job and win the Dwight Howard Super Bowl even if everything goes right, however.

Houston: Luis Scola and Kevin Martin are decent players. But this isn’t an ideal market for Dwight and unless Houston is able to get very creative and team Dwight with Chris Paul, I don’t see this as a possibility. If he wants to play with an elite PG that badly, he can sign with the Nets. Odds: 4%

Portland: Offers a good big man to team with in LaMarcus Aldridge, and Gerald Wallace is okay too, but it’s a small market and again doesn’t offer a real star to team with, or a good point guard. Odds: 5%

THE CHICAGO BULLS DIVISION: These teams look like a good idea on paper and they are good enough to make a run, but everyone knows in the back of their mind that these teams aren’t ready to finish the job and win the Dwight Howard trophy yet.

Oklahoma City: Offers a bona fide superstar in Kevin Durant and a great PG in Russell Westbrook. However, it’s a small market and they would need to extend Westbrook in the same year they get Howard, and thus would have to get creative cap-wise. Odds: 6%

Orlando: Dwight does like the city of Orlando with its great weather and Disney World. But this team is in a tough cap situation and they don’t have any good players to speak of outside of Howard. If they can get creative and get Chris Paul I think he likes the city enough to stay, but I don’t see that happening. Odds: 10%

THE “JUST OUT OF YOUR LEAGUE” DIVISION: This team is that guy who is too shy to ask out that hot girl (represented by Dwight Howard). He’s trying to improve his confidence, but he can’t quite get there yet. She’s just out of his league.

LA Clippers: They have Blake Griffin. They have enticing trade assets for Orlando. They have young talent. They have a big market. But they also have Donald Sterling, a known racist and overall terrible owner. There are also rumors that Dwight would not resign with the Clippers. They make sense, but I don’t think it will happen. Odds: 15%

THE GREEN BAY PACKERS DIVISION: These teams are the favorites, the front-runners. Everyone knows they’re the favorites, and it’s possible that they come away with the prize. But there are no locks in championship races, as we know, so nobody really knows if they'll live up to their promise and come away with the prize.

New Jersey: They have a brand new $1 billion arena. They have a big market. They have a stud point guard. They have very enticing cap-clearing mechanisms and trade assets for Orlando. But New York is still the Knicks’ town, much as we hate to admit it. The Nets have had a losing culture. It makes a ton of sense. But it’s far from a lock: Odds: 25%

LA Lakers: There have been rumors for years that Dwight wants to follow Shaq’s footsteps and play in LA. They do have assets to entice Orlando, even though they don’t have cap space. Kobe can still play at a championship level if he has help, especially of Dwight’s caliber. So as much as it breaks my heart to admit, I’d have to say they’re the favorites right now. Odds: 27%

So to sum up, no one has a stranglehold on the race yet. Someone could still swoop out of nowhere and steal Dwight. It’s wide open.

Let’s here your thoughts in the comments. Do you agree, disagree, and with what parts of the post? Thanks for reading.

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