Okay, so Dwight Howard can talk to the Nets, Lakers, and Mavs. We can all say things like, Brook Lopez isn’t enough and the Nets already traded everyone good to get Deron! The Lakers are (still) likely to offload Gasol/Odom after all, then who will they have left?! The Mavs don’t have anybody to trade, but isn’t that enough?!?!
The answer is no, probably not.
Guys, I’d love it. So would you, and both those things go without saying. Dwight, and then maybe Deron….I hate the superteams era dawning, and I’m not going to back away from that stance, but hating the gun era didn’t mean it was a good idea to hang on to your cutlasses.
I’m not a cap guy, a finance guy, or an assets guy. I’ve gone on record as saying I don’t think free agency is much of a way to build a team, so I’m probably undervaluing the Mavs new trade exception.
Bottom line, though? The NBA turned down Gasol and Odom for Paul. That doesn’t mean the NBA will involve itself, or that the Hornets thing wasn’t a unique situation for the obvious reasons.
But Roddy Beaubois and cash for Dwight?
Andrew Bynum and Brook Lopez for Dwight are both better than that. Not only have both contributed roughly eight zillion times more, already, in their NBA service, than Roddy whose flashes of brilliance are now over a season old, but they fill the hole left by Dwight. Sure, the Magic can have Roddy and Haywood or Roddy and Ian or whatever they might want.
But they want more.
And let me just add this one more thing. It may seem like players have a lot of trade power now because Carmelo was successful in bullying his way to the Knicks, and Chris Paul seems to have arranged a trade that, while not to the right coast, is still to A coast. It didn’t work, but it still might.
Nevertheless, Dwight Howard is not a free agent. Who he wants to go to still only matters in terms of what the Magic are willing to let him do. Otis Smith, incidentally, has screwed the Mavs on more than one occasion (we remember the Brandon Bass, Marcin Gortat thing) and it’s not altogether outside of the realm of possibility that he has given Dwight the power to talk to the three teams Dwight most wants to go to in part BECAUSE, once the Lakers figure out that Chris Paul thing, Dwight’ll see that none of them have what it takes to do it.
Again, though, even if the Magic are willing to stoop this low and the NBA is willing to let them, Bynum and Lopez are both better offers than anything the Mavs could give them. Much better. Yes, the Mavs could take Hedo off their hands. I hear the Nets can’t, and it’s hard to predict where the Lakers will be by the end of the season. Still…
Obviously, this would be probably the best thing to ever happen to the Mavs, besides drafting a certain number 41 (okay, maybe better in an on-court sense, though no one’s ever going to mean what Dirk does). It would probably pave the way for Deron Williams. And among three bad offers, the Mavs are only outclassed by a little bit and verifiably can make it work cap wise in a way the Nets, for example, can’t. It is NOT impossible.
It is super, super unlikely. The Mavericks do not have the talent to offer Orlando, they can have anything they want besides Dirk, but what would they want that would come close to being enough? And who’s going to help the Mavs land Dwight? And if you're the Magic, what do you want cap space for, if not to land...well, Dwight Howard and Deron Williams? And how does adding the greatest center in the league to the defending champions NOT go up the League's nose the wrong way, after they publicly embarrassed themselves by colluding against Chris Paul?
It doesn't feel right. I hope I'm wrong.
Rob Mahoney says roughly the same thing right over here.
Update: For the record, Mike Fisher over at Dallasbasketball.com figures the Mavs can do it.
(P.S: Obviously any possible scenario would require a third team. Personally, I find that super unlikely too, and especially because, as I say above, what team would help us get Dwight Howard? And even if they would, the Rockets at least got Pau Gasol out of it--I don't see the Mavs or the Magic having anything to give a third team. But I've been wrong before.)