That’s probably the understatement of the century.
Howard should have been traded during the offseason. He should have been traded at the start of this season.
He should have been traded yesterday.
So what exactly are the Orlando Magic waiting for?
Clearly the team is going to try to get as close to equal value as possible for the disgruntled superstar. He is the best center in the NBA and warrants a hefty return of players and draft picks if/when he gets dealt.
The Lakers, Nets, Mavericks and Bulls are all in the running to get the services of Dwight Howard. Dwight hasn’t shied away from saying that he would love to play for any one of those teams. Why wouldn’t he?
The main benefit for playing in any one of those cities for any one of those franchises is NOT HAVING TO PLAY FOR THE ORLANDO MAGIC ANYMORE.
The Dwight Howard trade saga has been a huge cancer in the Magic locker room. His teammates have already given up on him and the season. The team has lost 5 of 6 games and have scored less than 70 points in 3 of those losses. Howard has also come out publicly and bashed his teammates for their lack of effort and pride in these games.
In defense of guys like Ryan Anderson, J.J Redick and Jameer Nelson, it must be hard playing for a team knowing that the franchise player is going to be leaving town soon. Not only is he on his way out, but he’s kicking dirt on you as he’s walking away. It must be an extremely demoralizing thing to have to play through.
I’m sure by now that the Magic have received some suitable offers for Howard. It wasn’t to long ago that the New Jersey Nets were ready to send Brook Lopez, some draft picks and young players to Orlando in order to pair Superman with their all-star point guard Deron Williams. An ankle injury to Lopez ultimately derailed that trade, but the deal could still occur once he’s back to full health.
A trade to the Los Angeles Lakers could also work out for Superman. It wouldn’t be the first time that a “Superman” has left Orlando to play in L.A either. The Lakers could offer a package of Pau Gasol and/or Andrew Bynum for the 7’1 center in a deal that would certainly benefit both parties involved.
I truly believe that the only thing holding back a deal involving Dwight Howard is the pride of the Magic front office. The 2012 NBA all-star game will be taking place in the city of Orlando on the 26th of this month. If the Magic were to trade Dwight Howard before the game and have him participate as a member of an opposing squad, then it would be a PR nightmare for the franchise. Not only would fans boo Howard, but they would also be reminded that Dwight is no longer a part of their team and that a period of losing and mediocrity may be on its way. If anyone is currently watching Orlando Magic home games to see Hedo Turkoglu and “Big Baby” Davis, then I truly feel sorry for them.
Orlando Magic management want to come away from this Howard debacle smelling like a bed of roses. They don’t want to be the group that sends away the best big man in the NBA for a bunch of scrubs (Right Memphis?). They want to emerge from this mess sitting as pretty as the Denver Nuggets did when they dealt away their franchise player Carmelo Anthony. The Nuggets received 4 starters from the New York Knicks, as well as draft picks and $3 million in cash. To start this season, the Denver Nuggets sit at 14-7 while the New York Knicks struggle to stay afloat at 8-13. This just goes to show that sending away your best player doesn’t necessarily mean that your team will be worse off because of it.
Whatever the case may be, the end result will still be the same.
Dwight Howard is going to leave Orlando.
Now whether or not the Magic pull the trigger and send their Superman elsewhere in the weeks to come is still up in the air. If Howard remains a member of the Magic for the rest of the season, then he will just walk away and sign on as a free-agent with a new franchise while Orlando is left to pick up the scraps of a once successful basketball team. The time is now to find a suitable trading partner, get as much quality assets as possible and move on from the Dwight Howard era. Whether it’s L.A, Chicago, New Jersey or some mystery team….
just get him out of there already!
It’s whats best for everyone involved.