Blog Entry

Magic want Melo-like haul for Howard

Posted on: March 9, 2012 12:10 am
Magic executives have continued to tell teams this week they do not intend to trade Dwight Howard, but several teams came away from the conversations with a clear picture of what the club wants if it changes course: a replica of the deal Denver pulled off last February for Carmelo Anthony, multiple league sources told Thursday.

If the Magic decide to trade Howard, they have “not closed any doors” on potential suitors, said a person familiar with the organization’s strategy. Teams that are on and off Howard’s list of preferred destinations – the Nets, Mavericks and Lakers – will be considered, and may the highest bidder win, sources said.

What Orlando is seeking if it makes a deal for the All-Star center is a package similar to what the Nuggets received for Anthony at the 2011 trade deadline: multiple good, young players and draft picks. Orlando executives view the Denver model as a middle ground between blowing up a contender and starting over with draft picks and reaching for veteran All-Stars whose contracts ultimately could hinder the recovery from a Howard trade.

Representatives of three teams in the mix for Howard – either on his list or among teams willing to gamble on trading for him in the hopes that he can be persuaded to stay beyond this season – told Thursday that the Magic have not decided which path to pursue. Howard, 26, can opt out of his $19.5 million contract after the season and become an unrestricted free agent. His formal trade request through agent Dan Fegan of Lagadere Unlimited remains on the table and he has not given the Magic any commitment to opt in and/or re-sign after the season.

In a complicated, three-team trade for Anthony that was consummated after a five-month marathon over his desire to join the Knicks, the Nuggets came away with a treasure trove of young talent and draft picks: Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and 7-footer Timofey Mozgov plus a future first-round pick and two future second-round picks. Felton has since been dealt to Portland for Andre Miller. The Nuggets recently signed Gallinari to a four-year, $42 million extension (about half what Anthony makes over the same period), and are hoping to get Chandler, a potential 20-point scorer, back after a stint in China before the season is over.

The Nuggets also received another 7-footer, Kosta Koufos, from Minnesota, which made the trade work under league cap rules by taking Eddy Curry and Anthony Randolph from the Knicks along with a second-round pick from Denver.

For a variety of reasons, a similar haul isn’t realistic for Howard, despite the fact that he’s a far more valuable star than Anthony. The Knicks also got former All-Star Chauncey Billups in the deal, and the Nuggets were able to parlay interest from the Knicks, Nets and other teams Anthony had no intention of extending his contract with into a bidding war that drove the price for him through the roof.

If a player is heading out of Orlando with Howard, it is likely to be Hedo Turkoglu. Unlike Billups – a productive veteran leader with one year left on his contract – Turkuglo will be a liability in the deal due to his declining skills and the $23.4 million he is owed over the next two seasons.

Nonetheless, the revelation that Orlando wants similar assets as those Denver received for Anthony moved the needle on the Howard saga with only a week to go before the March 15 trade deadline. If the Magic decide not to trade Howard by next Thursday, they face the prospect of losing him as a free agent and receiving no assets in return.

The Mavericks and Lakers, teams loaded with high-priced veterans, do not have the kind of assets the Magic want for Howard. The Nets, with 24-year-old 7-footer Brook Lopez and promising rookie guard MarShon Brooks, come closer – though two people familiar with the Orlando strategy told Thursday that none of the three teams has assets that would entice the Magic to part with Howard. Perhaps this is why Orlando officials have been more forthcoming in recent days about what they’d want in a package for Howard, and why at least one rival GM interpreted this shift in posture as an indication that Orlando understands it needs to create competition and prime the pump on the bidding war.

With the Magic determined to trade Howard to the team with the best offer if they decide to move him, a deal sending Howard to a so-called “rental” team (i.e., one he will refuse to give a long-term commitment to as part of the trade) could play right into the Nets’ hands. If, for example, Orlando traded Howard to Golden State and Howard opted out after the season, the Nets would be in a position to sign him as an unrestricted free agent without giving up any players or draft picks.

The other team aggressively trying to maneuver for a shot at acquiring Howard and persuading him to sign this summer is the Rockets, who need a replacement for retired center Yao Ming and who are still recovering from the voided Chris Paul trade that would’ve landed Pau Gasol from the Lakers. But a more serious contender could emerge in the coming days: the Hawks, who are dealing with disgruntled should-be All-Star Josh Smith’s own reported trade request. Smith and Al Horford would represent a coup for the Magic considering the alternative of losing Howard for nothing, and Atlanta is Howard’s hometown, where he attended Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy. Even with the potential of getting – and keeping – a player of Howard’s popularity and impact, questions remain about whether the Atlanta ownership group would be able to afford two max players going forward. Joe Johnson is owed $90 million over the next four years.

If nothing else, Howard’s familiarity with Atlanta would diminish the biggest impediment for another potential rental team giving up major assets to get him: Aside from it being an untenable gamble in a normal season, it’s even more so in this one. If, for example, Howard were traded against his will to Golden State, he’d play only 26 games with his new team – and only 12 home games in his new surroundings.

“That’s not a lot of games to get attached to Golden State,” one rival executive said.

Could the Warriors possibly give up Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Ekpe Udoh, etc., under those circumstances? The Magic hope so, which is why the Howard saga quietly escalated to the next phase Thursday: Orlando’s attempt to follow the Denver model by creating a bidding war and scoring a Melo-like haul of assets.

So from now until 3 p.m. on March 15, the Dwight Howard story is open for business, 24 hours a day.

Since: Nov 1, 2007
Posted on: March 9, 2012 2:06 pm

Magic want Melo-like haul for Howard

um dwight can not veto trades?He can just say he wont sign an extension there?where do u see he can veto any kind of trade?

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: March 9, 2012 1:50 pm

Magic want Melo-like haul for Howard

Dwight can veto trades.

At this point, he will just play out his deal and sign with New Jersey as a free agent.  He will recruit D-will to stay as well.

It makes no sense for Dwight to accept a trade to New Jersey.  The Nets would have to gut the roster to get him.

He merely waits out half a season and joins them fully intact.

That way, he gets to New Jersey PLUS he gets a full roster to play alongside.

The only way he gets traded would be to someone other than the Nets for a short term rental.

Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: March 9, 2012 12:49 pm

Magic want Melo-like haul for Howard

like my team, the timberwolves, the bulls do need to trade to get better. the wolves maybe need a guard, but we are not in a rush to get one as we one of the hottest teams right now.  bulls dont need to rush a trade either, they are clearly the best team in the east.  the lakers are being dumb, they need a point guard, and should just call someone from the minors rather trade their big men and ruin the team.  the magic need to keep howard and give a five year deal. howard is an idiot for wanting to leave for the nets. the magic could easily win a title with howard and their current assets.  the nba is rigged by allowing all these players go to five teams. the league needs to grow some balls and stop this game.

Since: Feb 23, 2009
Posted on: March 9, 2012 12:36 pm

Magic want Melo-like haul for Howard

dont u people get it, its not about winning in the nba. its about looking good and being a league leader. and most of all STATUS. and dont think for a minute that if howard isnt traded he will be in brooklyn next year. if an nba title comes thats gravy. the real prize is taking over the media capitol of the world from melo, amare, haha ok n lin

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: March 9, 2012 12:21 pm

Magic want Melo-like haul for Howard

Why in the hell would the Bulls try to fix what's not broken?  The Mavericks have little to offer except maybe Lamar Odom and a couple of draft picks.  But they're not trying to trade for him this year...they want to sign him NEXT year when he becomes a free agent.  I don't think anyone is going to give up what the Magic want.  The Lakers COULD offer Andrew Bynum for him but that would be a dumb move as well imo.  You lose a guy who is a proven roleplayer in the Kobe's offense for a guy who will ultimately end up being a Shaq/type nemesis to the Kobe because of his gross ball hogging and shot taking.  Howard wants to score...not rebound all of the Kobe's missed shots.

Since: Jul 29, 2008
Posted on: March 9, 2012 11:41 am

Magic want Melo-like haul for Howard

Whoever gets this clown will be doomed for years to come. Think twice about trading for a star that is a liability in the 4th Q and couldn't hit a FT to save his life. 

Since: Feb 20, 2007
Posted on: March 9, 2012 11:37 am

Magic want Melo-like haul for Howard

If DW truley wants to win, Chicago would be on his list.  Dwight's only response about Chicago is that it is cold there.  It isn't cold in New Jersey? Dwight is an odd dude, who knows what he is really thinking.  He doesn't want to hurt any feelings or burn any bridges, but guess what LeBron?  It's going to happen.  Fans in Orlando are going to get angry, so be man and either put up or shut up.  As for the Magic, the Bulls can offer the best nucleus of players - I would rather have Noah, Deng and either Gibson or Boozer and the 2 first round draft picks the Bulls have for next year than anything else that has been mentioned.  If the Magic could pull off Bynum and Gasol and some picks that would be good as well, but I can't see the Lakers giving up 2 solid bigs for Howard. 

Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: March 9, 2012 11:29 am

Magic want Melo-like haul for Howard

Remember teams angling for Howard...All he wants is to win! That's why he's trying to force a trade from a team with the 3rd best record in the East that just beat the #1 team in the East, and a Magic team with the 5th best record in the league (Doing that with his demands hanging over their heads) to the of the worst teams in the league....Yep! Clearly all he wants is to win.

He's trying to force a trade from a team guarenteed to make the a team guranteed to not make the playoffs...Yep. He just wants to win! 

Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: March 9, 2012 11:25 am

Magic want Melo-like haul for Howard

Remember teams angling for Howard...All he wants is to win! That's why he's trying to force a trade from a team with the 3rd best record in the East that just beat the #1 team in the East, and a Magic team with the 5th best record in the league (Doing that with his demands hanging over their heads) to the of the worst teams in the league....Yep! Clearly all he wants is to win. 

Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: March 9, 2012 11:16 am

Magic want Melo-like haul for Howard

So Carmelo has basically 1 team on his list of trade demands and Dwight has about 3-4. And I'm supposed to think the Magic can't get a similar haul as the Nuggets? Dwight takes average teams to the brink of NBA titles....Melo takes average teams to the brink of 1st round playoff victories. Give me a break, a multi-team deal is gonna happen and the Magic are gonna get 2-3 solid young players on the rise and 2-3 draft picks.....or they ain't trading him.

And the Magic have no intrest in Brooks Lopez whatsoever!!! 

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