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The Magic Scrabble For Leverage

I have no idea whether Dwight will eventually be traded to the Nets. I do know the pieces the Nets can offer are much worse than what other teams can offer, and I know that any draft picks they might trade, the only x factor, would be pretty worthless because Deron-Dwight-JJ-Gwall is a very good team, although it may need Deron's talents less than most. Orlando doesn't need three or four mid-twenties picks.

I also know this move would put the Nets so far over the cap they'd need a genie to ever make a change to their team. But here's what I know:

What Dwight, like Carmelo before him, is doing, is trying to sabotage the Magic's ability to trade him anywhere but to Brooklyn, and he needs it to happen now before there's no Brooklyn to go to. Because, naturally, though teams would trade almost anything to get Dwight Howard, they wouldn't trade almost anything to get Dwight for a year. That's why I strongly suspect that whatever offer finally pries Dwight from the Magic, it won't look like a very good deal, and that's why it's still a possibility that Dwight will get traded to Brooklyn after all. They don't have anything to offer, but they'll offer anything, because Dwight will definitely stay there.

But, obviously, these facts have backed Orlando into a corner. If Dwight had just handled this like an adult, he would have been a free agent right now and we wouldn't be having this talk. If he had continued to handle it like an adult after he didn't handle it like an adult, the Magic could still get something out of trading him, something I think he owes them for paying him a lot of money and trying their hardest to make him happy. He didn't, and now, they have no leverage.

Unless they whip it up by making everyone afraid of another superteam, or by publicizing a shitty, beatable offer.

This doesn't mean that Howard won't be a Net. It means that the probability that Dwight will be a Net is what we might call "artificially inflated", like those Battlestar Galactica episodes where Lee gets really fat.