Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I Fixed The Dwight Howard Problem. Again.

So Dwight still has yet to make up his mind. Or maybe the Magic have yet to make up their minds. Or maybe they just haven't gotten a serious offer for the best center in the NBA. Well, no worries - I have another solution to the problem. It involves trading Dwight to a team that desperately needs a new identity.

Washington Receives: C Dwight Howard
Orlando Receives: G Jordan Crawford, F Jan Vesely, F Andray Blatche, C Ronny Turiaf, C JaVale McGee

Let's break that down a little in Bullet form (see what I did there?):

For the Wizards:

  • For starters, they are a mess. They have a lot of talent and no way to make it work. They need to make a big move. I'd call this a big move. 
  • Andray Blatche is their biggest problem, in my opinion. He has so much potential but he doesn't work hard to realize it because his team is miserable. He needs a competitive team with teammates that will push him. So maybe moving to Orlando isn't the best move for him, but the Magic have options in that area. We'll get to that later. 
  • JaVale McGee is the dumbest player in the NBA. He isn't helping the Wizards by having a basketball IQ lower than Matthew Barnaby's. 
  • Jan Vesely is talented and is supposed to be one of the new high-flyers in the league. It'd be nice if the Wizards could keep him, but for salary purposes (and to entice the Magic) he has to go. 
  • Crawford and Turiaf are kind of nobodies in the trade. They can both log minutes, but the Wizards have Nick Young and Howard/McGee and the Magic have JJ Redick and Howard/McGee. 
  • Bringing in Dwight Howard would totally change the face of the Wizards. Forget about guns and 0-15 records. This team is now John Wall to Dwight Howard, with Rashard Lewis and Nick Young shooting 3-pointers. Throw in Kevin Seraphin/Trevor Booker/Chris Singleton at forward and that's a young team that can definitely make a splash. If this trade were to wait until the deadline (March 15), the Wizards will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-35. Even if they go .500 for the remainder of the season, they will finish 23-43. In one of the deepest drafts ever, that's good enough to draft a quality impact player. Harrison Barnes comes to mind for me, and he could play behind Rashard Lewis for the remaining 2 years on his contract and then take over. A big guy like Jared Sullinger or Andre Drummond could play behind Howard and eventually switch to power forward/center in order to maximize the playing time for Washington's best players. In five years, a team of John Wall-Nick Young-Chris Singleton-Jared Sullinger-Dwight Howard is going to be formidable. 
For the Magic: 
  • Dwight Howard is going to leave. Why not get a big haul for him like Denver got for Carmelo Anthony and Utah got for Deron Williams? 
  • The main benefits of this trade are the additional depth and youth that it adds: replace Von Wafer/DeAndre Liggins with Jordan Crawford; Quentin Richardson/Earl Clark with Jan Vesely; Justin Harper/Glen Davis with Andray Blatche (we'll come back to that).
  • Moving from Howard to McGee is obviously a downgrade in every category. But moving from Howard to nobody and not getting any of the benefits of the previous bullet is an even worse downgrade. 
Regarding Andray Blatche: 
  • He has no motivation. Playing for a downtrodden Washington team isn't going to inspire him. Playing for a rebuilding Orlando team won't be much better. He needs a team that is going to rely on him less (maybe a sixth man role) and also encourage him to live up to his potential. Let's see if we can pull a third team into the trade to help him out. The first team that comes to mind:The Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe is competitive enough, right? But let's think about the weaknesses of the new-look Magic: Point guard? (sort of). Shooting guard (not really). Small forward (not really). Power forward (not really). Center? (sort of). The Lakers don't really have anything to spare at point guard, but could a Gasol/Bynum trade work? 
    • Lakers Receive: PG Chris Duhon, PF Andray Blatche, C JaVale McGee, C Ronny Turiaf
    • Magic Receive: C Pau Gasol
    • More depth for the Lakers, who desperately need it. It also solves the problem of Pau Gasol being upset that they tried to trade him. 
    • It also solves the problem of not having a backup center (since Gasol plays as a foward and their current depth-chart-listed backup is only 6'9). 
    • They would have the option to keep McGee and Turiaf, trade one of them (Turiaf's $4.4m expiring or McGee's high-flying antics). 

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