Thoughts about the Magic's Dwight Howard situation from a Rockets fan perspective

Hey guys I thought I would share a post I made on the message board about the Magic's situation.


From the Magic perspective there are a few ways they can rebuild.

A. Cap space and proven talent - This would involve a player like Lopez or Bynum in order to have a centerpiece to entice free agents in the next two years.

To get quality free agents, heavier cap relief would be necessary and the Magic would want to clear out the longest contracts of

Jason Richardson - player option in 14/15 for $6.6MM (highly likely) - $18.6MM/3yrs
Glen Davis - $19.4MM/3yrs
Hedo Turkoglu - $12MM next year, $6MM guaranteed in last year - $18MM/2yrs
Chris Duhon - $3.3MM next year, $1.5MM guaranteed in last year - $4.75MM/2yrs

From my perspective, Richardson's contract is the most poisonous because he is already 31 and would be 33-34 in his last year. Glen Davis is a good hustle player with a championship pedigree but IIRC had one of the lowest TS% for a heavy minute player in these last few years. From a talent and cap perspective, as the Orlando GM, I would want him off my roster. Hedo's contract, while having the most publicity, isn't actually that bad except for next year's impact. Based on feedback from Orlando's fan sites, Duhon isn't incredibly popular either, but his contract is tenable based on the size and brevity.

B. Young, unproven talent, and less cap relief, i.e. full blown tanking - The Rockets package is probably best here. A combination of Lowry/Montiejunas/Jones/White/Lamb and Martin's expiring makes sense if they plan to flip Lowry for the best draft pick available at the deadline.

In this scenario, they can keep on some of the bad contracts. I would only require Richardson and possibly Davis to be moved so young talent could develop. I could easily envision Hedo on a terrible, terrible team - so from that perspective, he wouldn't hinder any rebuilding efforts.

C. Something between A & B - to me, this is the worst scenario, because they would tread water and have a difficult time getting out of the mediocrity treadmill so to speak. A package of Teague/Horford from ATL or Curry/Lee from GSW keeps them solidly in the middle of the pack.

Trade candidates:

1. Brooklyn Nets - The Nets have to initiate a complex transaction here after their recent moves. The JJ, Wallace, and Teletovic acquisitions make it impossible to acquire Dwight without a S&T of some sort involving Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries. Media reports also suggested that they would need to find a 3rd team to take on Humphries. The return here for Orlando would be an overpaid, rebound-allergic 20 ppg scorer, the promising but iso-heavy Marshon Brooks, and 3 very late first rounders (2013, 2015, 2017). The 2017 would be the most valuable if a major player like Dwight ended up injured.

We all know that superstars dictate trade destinations as of late, so I would give Brooklyn the edge here. However, Billy King's recent moves seem to have pushed the roster very close to the absolute salary cap so it remains unclear if the logistics of the trade are possible. Reports also indicate that they are chasing Ersan Ilyasova, possibly meaning they are done negotiating with the Magic.

2. LA Lakers - After the Steve Nash acquisition, reports are that the Lakers are satisfied going into the season with the roster as is. The Lakers also have been reported to have questions regarding Howard's back and his willingness to sign an extension.

A source familiar with the Lakers' thinking told's Dave McMenamin the team intends to keep its core of Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum together next season now that Nash will be in the fold.

In my opinion this makes perfect sense and they should absolutely see what they have before making any moves. They become a much more likely trade partner at the trade deadline because of their desire for cap relief. Giving up two near-max players in Bynum and Gasol would make sense if they could swing a trade for a return like Scola/Howard or even Ryan Anderson/Howard. They would then only have to deal with the max-max and max contracts of Kobe and Dwight.

If Dwight is on the Orlando roster going into the season, this is his most likely destination. However, they would not be getting any picks from the Lakers now that the Nash trade has been consummated. A third party like the Rockets could be used for picks as well (although I am hoping we do not blindly trade for Gasol with no plan in place).

3. Our team - This is well documented on Clutchfans and I'm sure you guys are as tired as me of watching the rumor mill. However, it is true that we have a smorgasbord of assets (players and the Dallas pick). Unfortunately, none of the GMs around the league value our assets quite like this message board does or we would have had a done deal. Despite Lamb's value (should have been picked around 8), White's interesting tool-set, several of our draft picks had little hype before the last few years.

RSCI, a composite index of high school rankings, had Lamb at 78th(!!), White at 31st, and Jones at 11th. In my opinion this shows a certain level of growth in skill that is highly desirable - Lamb and White have yet to reach a ceiling and are still developing.

However, a highly touted and hyped prospect in my opinion is more appealing in a blockbuster trade simply for the name recognition. Players like Austin Rivers (Rank 2) and Andre Drummond (Rank 2) and Harrison Barnes (Rank 1) would work better for this purpose. Obviously a draft day trade with the Kings or the Raptors would have gotten it done and helped us out in this department.

4. Team X - Atlanta and Golden State fall into this category. Atlanta seems like a more likely trade partner with its pick availability (they now have our pick from the T-Will trade). It's unclear how much the Magic GM likes Horford and Teague, but in my opinion Horford is best suited for a power forward role and Teague becomes an RFA next season. Horford at $12MM per for the next 4 years is also quite a gamble based on his health issues last season. Houston's variety of players diversifies risk a little.

This FanPost was made by a member of the Orlando Pinstriped Post community, and is to be treated as the opinions and views of its author, not that of the blogger or blog community as a whole.

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