Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Where Will Dwight Howard be Traded?

by John Huffstetler

The potential trade of Dwight Howard threatens to shift the entire balance of power in the 2012 NBA season. Whatever team acquires the elite inside force (if he is in fact traded) immediately enters the short list of NBA title contenders. As recently as last week, Dwight switching teams this season appeared to be a near certainty, with Howard criticizing his teammates effort in a 2nd-half collapse against Boston. This afternoon, however, Magic owner Richard Devos proclaimed "I don't want to trade him," introducing the possibility that Howard remains in Orlando for the remainder of the season. This statement, though, remains in stark contrast to Howard's public stance that he wants to be traded during this season. If he were to be traded, Howard has listed 5 teams that he would be willing to play for: Dallas, New Jersey, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, and Chicago. So the question remains, where will Dwight Howard finish the season?

The Possibilities

Stays in Orlando

Although Howard appears to be packing his bags in Orlando, the comments of owner Richard Devos (pictured to the right) make his return to Orlando a potentiality. The problem with this scenario is Howard's unlikelihood to resign with the team after this season. Losing a player of his caliber through unrestricted free agency without receiving relatively comparable assets in return can doom a franchise for years to come. This fact alone makes the trading of Howard an absolute necessity. Chance- 7%


Regardless of where Howard would like to play, the team in question needs to have trade-able assets for the Magic to receive in return. The Mavs only have one valuable asset to trade in young point guard Rodrique Beaubois. Their core players are all above 30 and highly paid, thus of little value to the Magic. Beaubois alone is not nearly enough to secure Superman. Dallas' only hope is for a 3-team trade involving a team willing to acquire veteran, expiring contracts. Chance- 5%

New Jersey

The Nets certainly have more trade pieces to offer than the Mavs. The most discussed trade piece (although I believe he is massively overrated) is young big man Brook Lopez. His perceived potential (although misguided) to be an All-Star caliber Center makes his inclusion in a Howard trade logical. Other potential trade pieces include rookie swingman MarShon Brooks, reality douche Kris Humphries, defensive stalwart Sundiata Gaines, forward Damion James, and sharp-shooter Anthony Morrow. They have the pieces to make a run at Howard, but other teams have better situations and potential assets. Chance- 18%

LA Lakers

Like Dallas, the Lakers have a largely above 30 roster, meaning they don't have many valuable assets; however, they do have two major assets that could appeal to the Magic front office: Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. The Lakers have shown more willingness to unload Gasol than Bynum, but the Magic would most likely insist upon Bynum's inclusion in this trade. The Lakers could potentially secure Howard for Bynum straight up with a few players added in to balance out the salaries. Bynum is the most valuable potential asset any team has to offer individually, making the Lakers a major player in the Howard sweepstakes. There is the possibility, however, that Howard would insist upon going to a team with a younger nucleus. Kobe and Pau don't have that many good years left in their career. Chance- 30%

LA Clippers

From Howard's perspective, this would be an ideal destination because he would have the opportunity to win multiple titles with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. The biggest question for the Clippers is can they compete with the Lakers and Bulls from a trade-able assets perspective. DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe would have to be included, but not many other players have much value or potential that the Clips would be willing to deal. If the Clippers were intelligent, they would offer Blake Griffin for Howard straight up as Howard is the markedly better player in every facet of the game, but trading their second-year star seems unlikely. Chance- 10%


The Bulls offer the best combination of a young nucleus and valuable trade pieces to satisfy both Howard and the Magic. The most likely player to be included in a Howard deal is Joakim Noah. His age and ability to defend and rebound makes him the most necessary piece in a potential deal. The Bulls also have valuable young pieces in Omer Asik, Ronnie Brewer, Taj Gibson, and Luol Deng to offer the Magic in return. No other team has this kind of depth to offer Orlando in exchange for their franchise player. These multiple potential trades and Howard's probable interest in playing with Derrick Rose make Chicago the most likely destination this season for the greatest big man in the game. Chance- 30%

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  1. Chi-Town would be great....When is the Deadline?...ive got 12 tickets to the Wiz magic game at the end of feb which will be worthless if he gets traded before then.

    1. Trade deadline is March 15th, so could definitely still be in Orlando then.

  2. It'll be the Lakers, Bulls or the Clippers...If I were him I'd do everything in my power to play with Chris Paul

    1. The problem with the Clippers is the lack of valuable trade pieces though. Orlando still has to get adequate value in return and accept the trade.