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: Oct 31, 2011
Posted on: March 11, 2012 12:12 am

Magic want Melo-like haul for Howard

Impossible to imagine Magic getting a Melo-like trade deal for Howard. If the Knicks had it to do over, doubt that they would make that trade. They were going to get Carmelo anyway. Howard needs to make up his mind what he wants to do. If he is determined to leave, the Magic could do worse than Josh Smith and Al Horford. The Hawks, on the other hand, would be making a huge mistake without a gaurantee that he would sign a long-term deal. Can't see the Lakers giving up both Bynum and Gasol for anyone. Cannot believe the ridiculous deals that have been made in the NBA (Turkolu and Joe Johnson, for example. $90 Million--really? These are the kind of deals that doom a franchise). Don't believe Howard would stay in Atlanta in any case. He's looking for the bright lights and the big stage. Unless the Magic can bring in some big names to bolster their line up, they are going to lose Howard. Glad I am not the one who has to make the decision for the Magic. Howard can make that decision a lot easier if he will just tell them what his intentions are..if he knows.

Since: Nov 25, 2010
Posted on: March 10, 2012 12:29 am

Magic want Melo-like haul for Howard

How can he veto a trade? By refusing to sign a contract extension with the team he's traded to. Any other questions, Einstein?

Since: Oct 4, 2008
Posted on: March 9, 2012 6:34 pm

Magic want Melo-like haul for Howard

to the person that posted teh bulls are the best team in the east...did you not see the game last night? An orlando magic team that hasn't played to its full potential beat them up last night! Howard wasn't giving full effort and it was appenent that the bulls lack size down low.  i think they need howard to win a championship!

Since: May 28, 2007
Posted on: March 9, 2012 6:02 pm

Magic want Melo-like haul for Howard

as a bulls fan,i wouldn't want howard,and never would give up deng in a trade for him.howard puts up good numbers,but isn't a clutch 4th quarter player,he'd just get in drose' way.i've always thought he was overrated.

Since: Dec 13, 2011
Posted on: March 9, 2012 5:20 pm

Magic want Melo-like haul for Howard

just like Shaq , Howard will leave orlando at the end of the year and Orlando will get nothing .. no one is dumb enough to do what the knicks did to get melo last year for that kind of price , look how it worked out for new york  lol   without the surprise lin they wouyld be looking at the lottery 

Since: Oct 7, 2008
Posted on: March 9, 2012 3:56 pm

Magic want Melo-like haul for Howard

According to one of CBS's competitors...Howard has a list of people he wants to play with, and apparently it's laughable.  There's nobody on it that makes any sense as to why he would want to play with them.  The insiders that have seen the list say if that's who he wants to play with it shows how clueless about the game of basketball he really is.  I wouldn't give up much for him.  Dude has an allstars body, good ability, and the basketball IQ and heart of a koala.  Great for the cameras, not for championship teams.

Since: Sep 11, 2007
Posted on: March 9, 2012 2:59 pm

Magic want Melo-like haul for Howard

Only trouble is, the Wizards don't have enough talent on their whole team to net Dwight Howard!

Since: Sep 17, 2008
Posted on: March 9, 2012 2:41 pm

Magic want Melo-like haul for Howard

Dwight Howard says his number one choice is to be a Washington Wizard. An un-named source heard him say that. It's true. It's also o the internet. So that makes it double true. 

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: March 9, 2012 2:13 pm

Magic want Melo-like haul for Howard

Howard can't go to the Bulls because he and Rose have the same shoe company and the company won't allow their two biggest stars to play in the same market.  Howard can't say that in public.  Looking at shoe deals is a better indicator of where someone will go than most other measures.  These guys make as much or more from shoe deals as they do for playing ball.

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: March 9, 2012 2:08 pm

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. 
Howard want to be the main man on any team he play for, I doubt that Howard would be the main man with the Bulls or the Lakers since they have a star player already. Nets would give Howard the chance to be the main man, but the Nets would have give too much for Howard.

I would rather see Howard with the Bulls then any other team, It would give the Bulls a better chance to win a championship. But I have doubt that Howard would be traded anywhere, since the Magic asking price could be more then most teams want to pay.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or