Dwight Howard trade scuttlebutt evaporated once the Clippers acquired Chris Paul and Brook Lopez got hurt, but don’t worry, the best center in the NBA still wants out of Orlando. Howard said as much before the Magic beat the Kings Sunday, and then the team’s GM, Otis Smith, added this:
“I think his leaving or going has nothing to do with Orlando. I think he wants a bigger market. I can’t do anything about that.”
Reminder: Howard will only be traded to three teams – the Mavericks, Lakers or Nets. There’s really no scenario that could get Howard to the Lakers, unless they want to part with Bynum and Gasol in a 3-team deal; the Nets are 2-7 and may not be able to put together a lucrative enough package to get Howard (who wants a dinged-up Lopez?); and the Mavericks have absolutely nothing to offer the Magic, unless Orlando wants to get considerably older.
The Golden State Warriors are intriguing, but it appears as if Howard wants nothing to do with the Bay Area.
What Otis Smith needs to do is find a major-market team willing to part with a lot of good, young parts – think Knicks-Nuggets for Melo – but unfortunately, that combination might not exist. What about the Bulls? Would Howard want to partner with Derrick Rose? Would the Magic accept Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and Taj Gibson, or something along those lines?
What about the Thunder? Is Oklahoma City too rural for Howard? What if the Thunder offered Westbrook, Kendrick Perkins and someone else? Howard could have a summer residence in LA or New York, and let’s be realistic, he’s traveling so much from November to June, to hate OKC that badly.