Could Thunder Join The Dwight Howard Derby?
Think of the PA guy. Imagine his voice booming through the speakers inside Oklahoma City Arena.
Now think of how sweet this would sound.
At center…6-11…from Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy…No. 11…Dwiiiiiight Howaaaaard!!!
Hey, it could happen.
At least one prominent NBA writer thinks so. My pal and former co-worker Brian Windhorst, who covers the Miami Heat for ESPN.com’s Heat Index, chatted with readers Monday and mentioned the Thunder as one of four possible destinations for the Orlando Magic big man should he get traded or bolt in free agency. Howard has two more years left on his current contract but can opt out of his deal after next season. There’s a growing belief among writers that Howard already has one foot out of Orlando and could, somehow or another, join the Los Angeles Lakers.
Q: Firstly, I’ve been down with you since you started with the Cavs, big fan of your work. What do you think of LA trading away Bynum for Dwight, along with Hedo and/or Gilbert? Reasonable?
A: I think we’re in for a summer of Dwight Howard trade talk. I think there are two obvious places for him and two sleepers. The key is Dwight would have to agree to a new contract as part of the trade much like Carmelo.The obvious spots are the Lakers in a package for Bynum and the Nets in a package for Brook Lopez.The other two are, come with me on this, the Clippers and Oklahoma City. The Clippers would be able to offer DeAndre Jordan in a sign-and-trade plus have some other young assets. Dwight would get LA and a chance to play with Blake Griffin. The Thunder have a hugely attractive big man in Serge Ibaka as well as Kendrick Perkins plus some other nice young players. They could present a very attractive package. This is the big long shot but it’s interesting to think about.
However, while we’re engaging in this moment of fantasy basketball, allow me to say that there is absolutely no way that a deal between the Thunder and Magic involving Dwight starts with Ibaka and Perkins. At the very least, Orlando’s asking price would start with Russell Westbrook. And let’s be real. Maybe even Kevin Durant. That’s just a fact.
But that brings up a pretty intriguing question.
Would you trade Westbrook for Howard?
Now might not be the best time to pose that question considering how polarizing Westbrook has become. But it’s an incredibly interesting package to ponder, even if it would never happen. Think about a possible frontline of Howard, Ibaka and Durant. The Thunder would be unbelievably good. I don’t care if Eric Maynor and Thabo Sefolosha round out the starting five, which would probably be the case since Perkins and James Harden would likely have to be in the deal. We’d be looking at the best defensive team in the league and a still strong offensive unit because of the amount of run-outs the defense would create.
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