Monday, July 02, 2012

Dwight Howard Trade Idea

Dwight Howard, a potential free agent after 2013, is already trying to control his future destination by stating that there is only one team he would be willing to be traded to and re-sign a long-term contract.

While many believe that team is the Brooklyn Nets, the best possible landing spot for the 26-year-old center is the Oklahoma City Thunder.  The Thunder are the one team that can give the Magic a quality package of players without gutting their roster to the point that they would not still be a contender.  They are also the one team in which Howard wouldn't need to handle the offensive load - he would probably end up as the team's third option behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook - which would allow him to focus on his strengths, defense and rebounding.

The deal I put together on the trade machine was Howard for Serge Ibaka, James Harden, Kendrick Perkins, and Reggie Jackson.

Ibaka and Harden are two potential building blocks for the Magic, Perkins gives them a center to replace Howard, and Jackson is a young guard with some potential who also makes the trade work financially.

The Thunder would end up with a rotation of Howard, Nick Collison, Durant, Thabo Sefolosha, Westbrook, Eric Maynor, Daequan Cook, Cole Aldrich, rookie Perry Jones III, and a free agent scorer such as Jason Terry or O.J. Mayo (I'm not sure what the Thunder's cap situation is and exactly what they could afford in free agency but I think the alure of playing with Durant, Howard, and Westbrook and having a shot at a championship would help recruit a good free agent).

The Magic would have a rotation of Perkins, Ibaka, Harden, Jason Richardson, Jameer Nelson (assuming he re-signs), J.J. Redick, Glen Davis, rookie Andrew Nicholson, Chris Duhon, and Hedo Turkoglu.  It's not a championship contender but it's a better situation than what they could get from the Nets.

Howard would be in a position to win multiple championships with Durant and Westbrook while being able to establish himself as the best defensive center since Hakeem Olajuwon.  What team would want to face the Thunder with Durant and Westbrook causing matchup nightmares on the perimeter and Howard dominating the paint? 

It's the right move for both teams - and Howard - but it is unlikely to happen.  Meanwhile, the Thunder will continue to develop into the game's best young team while Howard will end up forcing a trade to a mediocre team and likely waste the prime years of his career.

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