The trade deadline is fast approaching, and Dwight Howard is still the star prize. Even though Orlando has seemingly offered him complete control over their franchise if he signs an extension it looks as though he will be moved.
The Magic are reportedly willing to allow Howard the rights to both head coach Stan Van Gundy’s job and general manager Otis Smith’s as well. If Howard doesn’t like the personnel being brought in he can have Smith fired. If he doesn’t like the way the team is being run he can have Van Gundy fired.
This is dangerous for both the Magic and Howard because in Orlando’s case it tells the world you are desperate at this point to keep Howard. It is difficult for Howard because if he stays and Van Gundy or Smith are fired while he’s there everyone will assume he had them fired. It is a lot of pressure to put on a player; pressure I’m sure Howard would rather do without.
Howard has not changed on his stance about wanting to leave Orlando before the trade deadline, and recently issued a controversial statement involving possible destinations. The Heat and Clippers are the two teams he has most recently said he could see himself playing for, and a lot of analysts are upset about this.
Fans and analysts of the NBA are frightened by the “super teams” and don’t want them to take over, but anyone who has actually played basketball can attest to the fact that great players want to play with other great players. If Howard was traded to Miami he would take Chris Bosh’s place as the post player and third scoring option. I think Howard could be the player they wanted Bosh to be. He will be content with going for 15 and 15 every night, where as Bosh has struggled with his lowered point totals.
Howard’s game is better when he’s around talented guards and scorers because he isn’t the best in the world at scoring on his own. Bosh would be able to go to Orlando and control the game like he did in Toronto, so it really would benefit both players and teams in the long-run.
I don’t understand why analysts want both Howard and Deron Williams to wait for free agency next year and go to Dallas. How is it not a “super team” adding Howard and Williams to Dirk Nowitzki? That scenario seems more outlandish, and less likely to happen than Howard to Miami. Especially considering one of those scenarios leaves Orlando with Bosh and the other leaves them with no one to show for the loss of Howard.
It seems unlikely that the Magic would trade Howard to the Clippers for Blake Griffin if Bosh is on the table seeing as Bosh would be better by himself than Griffin would, but I can see why Howard would want to go there and play with Chris Paul.
We will find out Thursday what will actually happen with Howard and other big names across the league, and there is certainly a lot of intrigue as to where they will ultimately end up.