Blog Entry

Report: Magic pursuing 'rental' team for Howard

Posted on: December 30, 2011 11:49 am
Edited on: December 30, 2011 11:53 am
By Matt Moore

Dwight Howard is expected to be traded to the perfect spot. It'll be a team he wants to play for, since that team is the only kind he'll re-sign with this summer in free agency. It has to be a contender, or potential contender (as in the case of the Nets with Deron Williams), and a major market so he can get all the media and commercial love he desires. That's pretty clear. But the Orlando Sentinel reports that the Magic are pursuing another option. The rental game. 

The Magic are talking to more teams than the ones on Dwight Howard's wish list.

They will listen to anybody who is willing to take a risk and give up a few good men for Howard if he can lead them to the NBA Finals as a temp.

It's another reason why they will wait until the March 15 deadline to make a deal for Howard, after he's played 44 games in Orlando. His new team would land him for 22 games, plus the postseason.


Absolutely. Sounds more like a means to put pressure on the teams that Howard has approved (Nets, Mavericks, Lakers).

But the Magic think some teams might take a flyer, hoping they can convince Howard to re-sign with them.
via Orlando Magic: Magic to explore renting out Dwight Howard -

No one would be crazy enough to do this, right? To actually give up assets in order to nab Howard for 22 games and the playoffs, before he likely leaves? Well, there should be. That's right. I'm advocating insanity. That's how I roll.

Two factors to consider if you're in the hunt for a Dwight rental.

1. You have to move contracts that have considerable money behind them. The reason being, if Dwight doesn't re-sign, you don't want to be left without the pieces you traded, without Dwight, and a large salary situation. You're basically angling for a rebuilding. Part of the complication here is the Magic will want to dump Hedo Turkoglu or other components with salary burden. But the Magic have to know that to get back more talent like they reportedly want, they can't dump salary too in a rental situation. So why would the trading team risk rebuilding? 

2.  Because the odds of a title is worth it. Consider the Pacers. If you're Larry Bird, what are you really trying to accomplish, honestly? You want to make a good strong showing in the playoffs, maybe get hot and uspet some folks on the way to the eastern Conference Finals, to try and be in position to make one big move to get you over the hump and win the title in a wacky year. You know you're not going to be able to compete with Miami, Oklahoma City, Los Angeles, Chicago etc. every year. You're hoping to pull off a Pistons-esque title. The same goes for any team considering a rental. So if you're angling for one title, anyway, why not take your shot with the best defensive player in the league, an MVP candidate for 22 games and the playoffs. 

That's the reasoning. You also have to establish how long it will take you to get back to being decent, since you have to factor how much winning a title will bring you financially versus two-to-three years of rebuilding will hurt you. And then you have to measure that against your actual odds of winning the title this season.

All of this leads to the reality that the chances are not good. You're asking GM's and owners to take a phenomenal risk with a devastating loss if they miss, and the payoff might not even be that good. Are several years of second round appearances better financially than a title and two years of lottery dwelling?

There's no list available of teams that might be interested, but here are five teams who should consider making the jump.  

Indiana Pacers: As I mentioned earlier, the Pacers should be a team willing to make the move. Larry Bird doesn't want to do this forever. Getting Dwight gives them a chance to win the title this season, instead of waiting for years and years and years potentially without any payoff. The Pacers are deep enough to offer the Magic an option plan. Darren Collison or George Hill, Danny Granger or Paul George, and Roy Hibbert (youth, talent) vs. Jeff Foster (expiring contract, veteran experience).  That's a great package and still leaves the Pacers with whoever the Magic don't take, along with David West for scoring. 

Atlanta Hawks: The Hawks have been involved in talks this week with the Magic anyway, according to ESPN. Offering to move Josh Smith or Al Horford along with Joe Johnson puts the Magic in a great position to keep making the playoffs. The Hawks would have Jeff Teague, Kirk Hinrich, and either Smith or Horford to pair with Howard to try and make a run. With Howard having been born in Atlanta, it's got some pull and a good run might talk him into it. Not really, but sure. The biggest objection from Magic fans is that the Magic would never take on Joe Johnson's contract. But this is Otis Smith who took on Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu in one year to try and win. Meanwhile, Johnson is an All-Star, and still is an above-average-to-pretty-good player at both ends without injury issues. 

Memphis Grizzlies: The Grizzlies may wind up moving Rudy Gay anyway if this season keeps up and they have to make a move. The Grizzlies need frontcourt depth. So get Dwight Howard! Genius! OK,it's a long shot, but if moving Gay, Sam Young or O.J. Mayo, and either Marc Gasol or Zach Randolph brings in Howard, that could make the  Grizzlies the best team in the West. They'd have defense and the best low-post-scoring combo in the league. Memphis is unlikely to be able to stay in contention for several years. Why not take the shot now?

Philadelphia 76ers: The Sixers have youth, Andre Igoudala as a centerpiece, and a full compliment of picks to add in. The team would be mortgaging the long-term value they've been angling for, but coach Doug Collins has also said that eventually they want to aim to bring in a star. Make a run with Jrue Holiday, Thaddeus Young, Elton Brand, and Howard, and if it doesn't work out, move towards the future.

Portland Trail Blazers: Paul Allen wants to avoid the luxury tax. What better way to do that than by trading for Howard's expiring contract? OK, kidding aside, the Blazers are so loaded, they can move Wesley Matthews and either LaMarcus Aldridge or Gerald Wallace. The remaining lineup would be good enough to challenge for the West.

Are any of these teams going to take the risk? No. Because this is not a league of gambling like this. The repercussions for failure would be catastrophic. But if a team really was all about winning a title, renting Howard for 22 games and the playoffs would be the boldest move possible.

Since: Oct 16, 2011
Posted on: December 30, 2011 8:46 pm

Report: Magic pursuing 'rental' team for Howard

You know this article is both a little stupid and a little briliant at the same time.

But if I'm the Pacers or the 76'ers I give this a strong consideration. This would be Indies only chance to win a title (with a one year rental), for the 76'ers Philly is a major market and it's warmer than NYC so if they could get to the final or win they would have a chance to keep Howard. The city also boast a good collection of other young black athletes that Howard could pal around with (people underestimate how much athletes like to hang with other celebs/athletes) off season.

But I still think that Chicago is the only city not on Howard's list that would really take this risk. Rose and Howard would be something special, it would be equal to Miami's team because both teams would have overwhelming advantages at different positions.  

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: December 30, 2011 8:15 pm

Report: Magic pursuing 'rental' team for Howard

This report is Complete Garbage!!

Since: Feb 6, 2011
Posted on: December 30, 2011 6:27 pm

Report: Magic pursuing 'rental' team for Howard

This absolute garbage by the Sports Blogger or Low Budget Negotiating ploy by Magic mgmt who know D12 has the upper hand and only two teams have the overall cap space, players and picks to make it happen. And D12 will only go to one of them so....

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: December 30, 2011 6:17 pm

Report: Magic pursuing 'rental' team for Howard

I can't see this happening. If you have players on your team that have "large" salaries they are probably going to be decent players. So why would you trade your decent players for a rental and then be left with nothing when Howard bails for whatever team he wants to play for? It's not like the Magic are going to take sub par guys in exchange for the best center in the league even if he is a rental. Sometimes the best thing to do is let the guy walk at the end of his current deal, as dumb as that sounds you are going to lose him anyways so why take players on in a trade that don't figure into the future of the team just so you can "get something" for him. If I'm the Magic the only thing I want is draft picks or young possible talent that won't break the bank.... not some over the hill guy like Pau Gasol or Lamar Odom who have huge contracts and are on the down hill side of their careers. Even if the Lakers were to throw in Andrew Bynum....big deal, the guy can't stay healthy so why bring him in and have to pay him? If the Lakers are willing to deal them then they must not hold them in high regards either. Either way when Howards leaves the Magic will suck, even if they get "something" for him in a trade.

Since: Dec 1, 2007
Posted on: December 30, 2011 6:05 pm

Report: Magic pursuing 'rental' team for Howard

As much as I hate Joe Johnson's contract as a Hawks fan, why would they give Joe up for a shortened year of Howard? The only way I would do that is if he would sign a long term deal. Josh Smith is erratic, but I would not trade him because he is one of the best players in the league when he doesn't lose his cool and/or take ill-advised 3's.

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: December 30, 2011 5:52 pm

Report: Magic pursuing 'rental' team for Howard

Not sure who you were referring to, but I nor any of the past few posters are Grizzlies fans.

Since: Jan 8, 2008
Posted on: December 30, 2011 5:27 pm

Report: Magic pursuing 'rental' team for Howard

let me guess, you are a Griz fan. Sorry you are small market so you are not allowed to have a good team.

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: December 30, 2011 5:22 pm

Report: Magic pursuing 'rental' team for Howard

Yea, I don't get the logic on Portland or Memphis. You say Memphis has one of the best defenses, but if they have to trade away half of their starting lineup, their will be nothing left to contend with. And I doubt Portland could pull off a 1 for 1 type deal and only lose Aldridge... who I would rather have for years to come than to rent Howard for a year. Portland has the chance to be a perennial contender without Howard in an aging West. The Spurs are on the decline, the Mavs look like a huge disappointment and I doubt the Lakers last much longer.

Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: December 30, 2011 4:57 pm

Report: Magic pursuing 'rental' team for Howard

No way Portland makes a deal like that, I do like that they now think Portland is loaded when just 3 games ago they felt they wouldn't even make the playoffs\/ These guys need a new job.

Since: Sep 10, 2007
Posted on: December 30, 2011 4:45 pm

Report: Magic pursuing 'rental' team for Howard

This is just a very sad leverage move by Orlando. 

Renting a player for 22 games sounds good on paper, but it ignores things like team play and team chemistry. What general manager want's to risk their job on something like that? Would they risk their franchise and player chemistry for a rental of a player who wants to go to a place where he will get an Adidas contract that is worth over 5 million dollars a year in a big market?
Orlando's best move is still to trade for the "arguably" third best center in the NBA Andrew Bynum and whatever other parts they can get from the Lakers while dumping Hedu Turkoglu's salary on the Lakers at the same time.
There second best move is to trade Howard to the Nets who will give up everything but the kitchen sink(like 4 first round draft picks) to get him including Brook Lopez who is arguably" the 7th or 8th best center. Although why they would to trade for a 7 footer who only seems to get 6 rebounds a game is beyond me.

I really don't see Dallas having much to offer right now. 

Orlando's problem is they waiting too long to trade Howard. They should have done it last year when they had leverage.

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