Dwight Howard wants out of Orlando. Orlando, by all accounts, wants to trade Dwight Howard. It has not happened yet, and you have to keep hearing about it. Sorry.
It has been a long time since we heard any movement in the Dwight Howard trade talks and instead we have heard seething frustration that a deal is not getting done. The Magic are still hard at work to find a landing spot for Howard while still getting the package they want.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports the Magic and Lakers are discussing a potential four-team deal that would send Howard and Al Harrington to the Lakers, Pau Gasol and Arron Afflalo to the Magic, Andre Iguodala to the Nuggets and Andrew Bynum to the 76ers.
The Magic have long been thought to want draft picks and young players in return for Dwight Howard, with perhaps hopes of bottoming out and winning the lottery. So acquiring Gasol as the main piece in the Dwight Howard trade might be the opposite of what they look for. Wojnarowski reported it is likely the Magic would rather have Gasol than Bynum because they would then have more time to flip Gasol for the assets they want. It also might come with the side effect of keeping Orlando competitive for one more year.
There are a lot of moving pieces obviously in any four-team deal and likely the major pieces are not the only pieces moving.
The important thing is that the Magic get rid of Howard and he goes somewhere he is willing to stay long term — so we do not have to hear about this again. The question again is what would Denver and Philadelphia get out of this?
Philadelphia has already said this summer that the team does not plan on trading Andre Iguodala this summer. So the question is whether Andrew Bynum is more valuable to the 76ers than Iguodala? That of course really depends on what the 76ers want. Philadelphia seems to like the core they have and the type of team they are building right now.
And what about the Nuggets? After trading away Nene and re-upping with JaVale McGee, is Andre Iguodala who they want to pair up with them in the backcourt along with Ty Lawson? Is it worth trading away three more years (at about $7.5 million per) of Arron Afflalo for the last remaining year of Iguodala's contract?
You can see already how complications might arise. Not only how they might arise, but the various questions Denver and Philadelphia have to ask themselves as they engage in these talks. They certainly will want more than the main pieces being offered.
And Orlando certainly wants more. The Magic want someone to take Jason Richardson's contract (three years, about $18 million) and possibly Chris Duhon or Hedo Turkoglu too while getting draft picks, young players and trade exceptions. Perhaps this deal is a recognition from the Magic that they may have to take some bad contracts to get rid of their own bad contracts.
And there are worse contracts out there than Gasol's.
Orlando still feels it holds the trump card to control things in Howard. But to have these other teams involved, they have to get something out of it too. And the two teams that want to get a deal done — Orlando and Los Angeles — do not have much to offer those other teams.
Give them an "A" for trying again. Sorry if this one does not get done.