After all of the wacky things that happened to the Orlando Magic in the 2011-2012 season, they have decided to clean house (literally). Otis Smith is no longer general manager, Stan Van Gundy is gone, and most of all, Dwight Howard is officially on the trading block. No flip-flopping, Howard will officially be out of Orlando by the end of next season at the latest.
So the big question is where will Superman land. There have been a number of rumored teams interested in the big man’s services, and in this edition of Katz Korner, we’ll explore all of them, as well as give you my opinion on where Howard will go.
Brooklyn Nets- Well the first team on the list is the most obvious one. With the move to Brooklyn, there’s no secret that general manager Bernard King and owner Mikhail Prokhorov want to build a “Big Three” of their own. In order to keep Deron Williams, the Nets will need to establish something this offseason, which will make them very aggressive for Howard as the draft gets closer.
I would expect that in a package for Howard would include Brook Lopez, multiple draft picks, and maybe MarShon Brooks. Remember, Otis Smith is out as GM, so maybe when King comes calling with this ridiculous offer, it will actually get done.
Los Angeles Lakers- The Lakers have been constantly rumored with Dwight Howard, but let me explain why this won’t happen. The Lakers would need to part ways with Andrew Bynum, because Pau Gasol will not cut it. There’s no way the Magic choose to clear house and then decide to take Pau’s contract. It will most likely take Bynum plus draft picks and a player or two.
Even if the Lakers offered the right package, Dwight would have to sign a long-term deal to get the deal done. He has said time and time again that he doesn’t want to be Shaquille O’Neal. If he went to L.A., it would be exactly like the Superman that played before him. So in short, I doubt Dwight goes to the Lakers.
New York Knicks- In short, no. Once again, this could have been a possible landing spot if the Magic weren’t deciding to completely clean house and restart from scratch. They’re going to look for draft picks, which the Knicks don’t have, and big expiring contracts, which the Knicks don’t have. The Knicks have been rumored as to wanting to try to deal Amar’e Stoudemire, but they will have to look elsewhere.
Los Angeles Clippers- Now this is a real possibility. I understand the Clippers haven’t been rumored all that much, but they might become more and more of a likely destination if he isn’t traded during the offseason. Something like Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Jordan, and multiple draft picks could make a lot of sense for the rebuilding Magic. I know that the Clippers haven’t been mentioned much, but this is a real possibility.
Dallas Mavericks- Well it’s no secret if a big name is out there, Mark Cuban will make a play for him. Cuban could steal the show here. If Dwight doesn’t wind up in Brooklyn before the July deadline for becoming a free agent, then Deron Williams will leave Brooklyn and become a free agent, which means that the Mavs’ become the favorite to land the star point guard who is from the area.
This now gives Cuban the possibility to build his own “Big Three.” He could trade expiring contracts, draft picks, and make a serious play at Howard. This scenario is unlikely, but never rule out Mark Cuban.
Prediction- Dwight Howard winds up in Brooklyn. Not only do the Nets have the most to offer, but Brooklyn is a basketball Mecca. It will become a monster draw for free agents to come. Howard will wind up a Net before or on draft day for Brook Lopez and the team’s draft picks for the immediate future. Deron Williams will stay, and New York basketball will have a rivalry for the first time ever.