What exactly is the Dwight Howard situation? I decided it was time to give those, who have no idea what’s going on, a recap of what this is all about besides the fact that Howard has been the constant subject of trade rumors.
Let’s get to the FAQs about Howard and these trade rumors.
Question: Where could he go if he is traded?
Answer: Pretty much anywhere. The San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, and New York Knicks are probably the only teams that have truly dominant centers already. I can’t think of any others off the top of my head immediately. There are some teams that can’t afford him though like the Nets.
Question: Why does he want to leave Orlando?
Answer: I don’t really think that question has been truly answered. We know that he had a lot of disagreements with Head Coach Stan Van Gundy. It got very acidic in some remarks. You could feel the tension in some press conferences coming out from the TV set. Howard has been quoted as being unhappy with the way the team was run and how he was used sometimes. He’s even criticized teammates publicly. He’s just unhappy.
You could almost compare it to a married couple that has fought, bickered, and frustrated themselves so much that there just isn’t energy left to try to repair what they once had. Dwight Howard probably feels like he needs a change. He doesn’t want to be unhappy at his work. Just like you and I might quit a job and go elsewhere, he wants to go elsewhere.
Question: What team does he want to play for?
Answer: Howard wanted to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets, but the trade fell apart due to the fact that the Magic also wanted to trade Quentin Richardson and didn’t want Kris Humphries from the Nets. The Nets moved on and have traded for Joe Johnson, re-signed Deron Williams, and other players, so they are out of the mix for a trade. Besides them, Howard hasn’t publicly said who exactly he wants to play for.
Question : What happens if he is traded from the Magic to a team?
Answer: The team will have to give up something in return to the Magic then they would take over Howard’s contract that has one year
Question: What would a team have to give up?
Answer: A lot. Cash, players, and/or draft picks could be involved in a deal as big as this.
Question: Does he have to stay with the team if he’s traded?
Answer: For one year. Howard being traded doesn’t guarantee him staying long-term in any city. It just means he will have to finish his
contract with the team.
Question: What would be Howard’s impact on a team?
Answer: He’ll obviously make them better on defense. That alone is a reason to seriously consider him. He is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year and defense means so much in games because you don’t want to have scoring shootouts decide the fate of your team. Howard will block shots, steal the ball, take charges, and basically be a giant problem for driving guards going for layups or for centers and forwards trying to hit shots in the paint.
Throw in the fact that he can score (averages 18.4 points per game) and he can change the whole dynamic of a team on offense and defense. Any team that has an average level of talent should make the playoffs with a superstar like Dwight Howard on the roster.
Question: Could Dwight Howard being injured last year have a negative effect on any trade talk?
Answer: That’s a difficult question. I’d say it is definitely possible because it was a major injury. A herniated disc is not something to ignore. However, Howard’s main strength for his career is he’s been an iron man at the center position. Before that injury, Howard had never played in fewer than 78 games in his other seven seasons, so there is an argument that this was just a one-time thing.
However, athletes tend to get more injury prone as they get older, so teams have to ask themselves if this was a fluke occurrence that happens to people sometimes or is this the beginning of a series of injuries. This time a herniated disc, the next a torn shoulder ligament, maybe a chronic twisted ankle after that.
Question: What’s the biggest holdup to a trade being done?
Answer: There is no rush to trade him. The season is months away and the trade deadline is even further. The Magic have a smart front office that knows they have a valuable piece and if they hold on to it, let pressure grow with other teams, maybe a star player gets injured that they can get the best deal possible. They want to squeeze teams into overpaying for Howard possibly. They want that offer that they can’t refuse so to speak.
The next largest holdup is the fact that Dwight Howard is still on a one-year deal. The Magic will get a bigger offer if Howard agrees to extend his deal once he’s traded. That would make him a long-term player instead of a one-year rental that leaves in free agency.
Question: Is this going to be another LeBron James soap opera deal on ESPN?
Answer: Yes and no. James’ choices where either Miami or Cleveland. Orlando is NOT going to be the final spot for Dwight Howard barring some major change of heart. James was also a free agent. This is a trade scenario. Orlando does have a say in where Howard will go if he’s traded. It is like the James saga in the fact that we are probably going to keep seeing the question of, “Where is Howard going?” over the next few months to the point where it becomes quite annoying.
Question: Who do you see getting Dwight Howard in the end?
Answer: I think the Los Angeles Lakers. They’ll figure out some way to squeeze him onto the team and probably trade Andrew Bynum in the process. Whether Pau Gasol is part of that deal is left to be decided. The Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks could be targets too, but the Lakers are the best bet.