Since this season seems pretty hopeless unless Otis pulls off something amazing, might as well go ahead with an idea of mine to keep Dwight and sign Chris Paul or Deron Williams. They can if they wanted too wait until the trading deadline until making these moves. It would give the Magic front office more time to assess where Dwight's position on the team direction is going and if they can actually win this year. Anyway my idea is like this...
The players we have right now can't win us a championship this year. There isn't any trade out there where we can get equal value for Dwight (except maybe a Lebron swap or maybe for Blake Griffin) or any reasonable trade where we can get him another star to play with. At the trading deadline or sooner the Magic should trade everyone else with a multi-year deal for players with expiring contracts. At the end of the year, the Magic will be in a similar situation the Heat were in when they had one of the biggest off-season signings of all-time. Magic keep Dwight Howard and get Chris Paul in the off-season and other players that will complement those two. Hopefully, they don't trade Dwight if they can find someone who is willing to take on Gilbert's or Turk's contract without the Magic having to throw Dwight in the deal. I thought of a few reasonable scenario's down below.
Below I thought i'd show you guys a couple of moves to shed the Magic's payroll for next season while keeping Dwight on the team...
Trade one: http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=3n9pt48
Trade two: http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=3uv789d
Analysis: Nelson plays his best when the game is on the line and 8 years younger then Kidd who is degrading as he gets older and is probably retiring after the year. They will be happy to get Bass back since they thought of him as a good back-up for Dirk. Q-Rich gives them an insurance policy if they can't resign Stevenson who was crucial defender for them against the Heat. Phoenix will love sharp-shooters like Redick and Anderson who play smart basketball. Especially Anderson who can potentially be a 20-10 player for this team. A fast-tempo team like the Suns could be exactly what Arenas needs to to become a better scorer again. Plus since all they give up is who we traded them last season, it's like they get Arenas, Redick and Anderson for nothing. Maybe even give them a draft pick or two.The Magic would be left with only Howard and Turk's contracts which add up to about 30 million next year, which would help leave plenty of cap space to sign Chris Paul even with a new collective bargaining agreement.
If that didn't work for you then how about a trade involving the CAVS who traded for Baron Davis last season. Unfortunatly the program wasn't working so I can't put up the link of how the trade might look. I found that the Magic could do this in a couple of different ways. One being a 3-team trade with Cavs and Sixers and another 4-team trade with the Cavs, Suns and Raptors. What's common in these trades is that Arenas goes to Cavs with Bass, Anderson and Orton because they're are currently looking for young talented big men to play with Irving and Thompson in the future. Yes Irving will be their future PG but they still have Baron Davis on the team and if you’re argument is that they don’t want Arenas and Irving on the same team.. then i’ll say it again… BARON DAVIS! So really what would be the difference? At least Arenas can play SG for them since he is 6'4 and 215lbs and he's younger. Magic can also take Varejoa's contract for them since they were so eager on trading him away last season. No issue for the Magic as long as they were able to get rid of Arenas's contract. Plus a team like the Celtics could trade us Jermaine O'Neal's expiring deal for him since they don't have Shaq anymore and they're probably losing Glen Davis in free agency. If the program eventually works then i'll post the link up for you later. Bottom lines this... If I was a GM in the first year of a rebuilding team and you asked me to take one bad contract in exchange for another and you offered me all these young promising players and draft picks in return too, then I would be dumb not to take it.
If they did decide to trade Dwight, then the Magic better bring back someone like Griffin or Lebron in return. I say if anything trade him to the Mavericks who are in championship contention right now and probably would be willing to give Dwight a shot for a year instead of those others guys who're retiring after the season and coming off their payroll. The Magic can force them to take Turk, Areanas, JJ’s or Nelson’s with him too. Dirk Nowitzki, Terry and Marion their best players are 34 after the season, plus Jason Kidd is probably retiring. Trade him there and It wouldn't be hard to convince Howard to play with 27 year old Chris Paul instead during free agency. Even a team that went to the finals won't be enough to convince a great player to stay with them. Shaq departed after a finals appearance and how about Lebron ditching Cleveland.
Worst case scenario, Dwight ditches us and we let go of all the players we got back in return but could end up with some quality draft picks (acquired in trades) and the cap won't be an issue anymore. The Magic won't have to lose money or publicity and will get back 10x the amount they were getting before if they brought Paul in with Dwight. I can't imagine why it's not at least worth thinking over if the season isn't going well. Think back in history and the Magic cut salaries for the off-season when they signed Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill. Lots of other teams have also tried to cut salaries for the off-season too. Just look at how many teams wanted to get into the crazy off-season last year.
There are also plenty of contracts out there which expire at seasons end. Like the Celtics have Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O'Neal. Other teams too with Antawn Jamison, Jason Terry, Jason Kidd, Caron Butler, Andre Miller, Chris Kaman, Chauncey Billups, Vince Carter, Steve Nash, Marcus Camby, Raymond Felton, Tim Duncan,Antonio McDyess, Leandro Barbosa and Mehmet Okur to name a bunch. We can sign some of these free agents to play with Dwight and Paul.
Like i said, they don't need to trade Dwight and they shouldn't, but if they are planning to sign Paul OR Deron Williams during free agency, then getting rid of Arenas contract is a must! The league could have something to say about it but in recent years they've allowed lobsided trades to slide by. For example Pau Gasol to Lakers and recently Michael Beasley to Timberwolves for chump change. At this point its a waiting game and who knows whats going through Otis Smith's head right now.