Three Orlando Magic Trade Scenarios That Are Completely Made Up But Work In My Head: Non-Dwight Howard Edition
While I may have pledged to ignore all the ridiculous Dwight Howard trade speculation, that doesn’t mean I won’t participate in all levels of other free agent/trade hysteria. In fact, I am taking it a step further by completely making trades up! HYPOCRISY!
So here we go… I’ve listed three potential trades that are based on the following criteria: 1) has to somewhat make sense for both teams 2) has to somewhat work salary cap wise (the hard part) and 3) has to make Dwight Howard happy. The theme for this season is, KEEP DWIGHT HOWARD HAPPY. I’m talking full-on, 100% enabling of anything he wants.
TRADE SCENARIO #1 – Boston and Orlando
Boston gives up Rajon Rondo and Glen Davis (sign and trade) – Orlando gives up Jameer Nelson, JJ Redick and Ryan Anderson or Brandon Bass. Plus any salary cap throw in’s that are necessary to match up with Big Baby’s new salary.
Orlando breakdown: They lose scoring and lots of it. The trade assumes that Jason Richardson is re-signed or that another scoring threat is added somewhere. They also would lose 2-3 fan favorites. They gain the best defensive PG in the league and some serious fight. They gain a drunken seal that has been a thorn in the side of the Magic for years. They gain a player that Dwight Howard likes and wants. The Magic, arguably, significantly upgrade at two positions (the people I mentioned this to think I am an idiot) but lose key role players. By losing Jameer, they lose the one player who can create and take the final shot and do not replace him with anyone capable of doing the same thing. Ultimately, I think the upgrade of Rondo over Jameer and Big Baby over Bass/Anderson overshadows the weaknesses that come along with it. The other big thing that I ignored from the Magic perspective is Davis’ asking price may drive this deal even further down the already unrealistic scale.
Boston breakdown: Big Baby is most likely going to leave Boston and has a lot of suitors fighting for him. This trade allows them to gain more valuable pieces to fill in their roster holes. Redick is the natural Ray Allen fill-in as he veers toward the NBA country pasture and Ryan Anderson gives them even more scoring threat. Rondo, while a very good player, can’t be the center piece of a franchise once the Big 3 are gone. Boston knows this. Hence the rumors floating around about Rondo to OKC and NoLa. While this trade certainly wouldn’t give them the superstar they are looking for, it gives them roster flexibility (for cheap) for the summer of 2012 and 2013 when they will have less than a handful of players under contract. This trade doesn’t make the most sense in the world for Boston unless they are truly growing weary of Rondo, but I honestly think that Danny Ainge is on a personal quest to become the new David Kahn. Update: Since I penned the above paragraph this morning, Danny Ainge has come out to say that he has no interest in trading Rondo. Believe it if you want…
Likelihood of happening (Scale of 1-10): 3.7
TRADE SCENARIO #2 – Atlanta and Orlando
Atlanta gives up Josh Smith – Orlando gives up Hedo Turkoglu and Daniel Orton
Orlando breakdown: Dwight Howard gets his best friend to play alongside him. An athletic freak that is a beast on the floor when not taking ill-advised jumpers. They rid themselves of the Hedo Comes Homes experiment which has run its course. There are also reports that Josh Smith has lost 30 pounds in the offseason and fully recovered from the lingering knee injuries he dealt with last season. Instant upgrade on defense, in the locker room (solely due to relationship with D12) and in athleticism. This could allow the Magic to potentially have more than 5 fast break points this upcoming season. Losing the project of Daniel Orton is not something the team would like to do, but it’s mainly a cap throw in to make the deal works.
Atlanta breakdown: They want to get rid of Josh Smith. Bottom line. Taking back Hedo’s salary seems like a lot at first, but it’s virtually the same deal as Josh Smith’s with Hedo’s 3rd year being only guaranteed for $6M. Hedo allows them to keep their size advantage at the 2, 3 and 4 but also allows them to stretch the floor more for Al Horford and when Joe Johnson decides to drive the ball. They obviously lose athleticism, but in this case it’s addition by subtraction for the Hawks.
Likelihood of happening (Scale of 1-10): 4.9
TRADE SCENARIO #3 – New Jersey and Orlando
New Jersey gives up Deron Williams and Anthony Morrow – Orlando gives up Jameer Nelson, a re-signed Jason Richardson and either Bass or Anderson. (Or anyone and everyone not named Dwight Howard that New Jersey wants)
Orlando breakdown: This is Otis Smith’s big gamble. He has to take it. After he finishes laughing for 30 straight minutes at the Brook Lopez offer, Otis has to counter to try and bring D-Will to Orlando. It doesn’t matter who they ask for, as long as it is not Dwight Howard then management must say yes. You pair Dwight with a super-star PG and then pray for the best. No brainer for Orlando. Even in the worst case scenario of Williams and Howard walking in free agency (would be tough to lose both), at least they would have the ultimate payroll flexibility to start from scratch.
New Jersey breakdown: Al Iannazzone of The Record reported today that Deron Williams’ agent confirmed this morning that he will not sign an extension with New Jersey and will opt out of his deal after the season. It has been no secret all that Williams was unlikely to extend his contract, especially with the new CBA severely limiting what he could received in an extension. There is obviously a chance that he could re-sign with the Brooklyn Nets for a max contract, but the chances seem slim unless they can pull out some sort of Dwight Howard miracle recruitment. The Nets took a big gamble when they made the trade with the Jazz last season and it doesn’t look like it is going to pay off. By midseason the team will be meddling in mediocrity and will be ready to try and save face and make a move. The smartest thing anyone can do is to know when to fold ‘em. Time to try and grasp at a new straw.
Likelihood of happening (Scale of 1-10): 5.4