Dwight Howard is a beast. The games he's played with the Orlando Magic franchise are wrong but what he does on the court is unstoppable. That's why he's been attached to teams all over the NBA. One such team attached to Howard is the New York Knicks. Fans know the positives Howard can offer their team but these are the reason the Knicks should refrain from chasing him.
So as I pointed out Monday in breaking the story, a key piece of the whole Howard puzzle becomes Hedo Turkoglu, who is owed $23.6 over the next two seasons and whose contract the Magic would want to shed (although there is a school of thought, one league executive told me today, that the Magic would also be open to packaging Glen Davis with Howard in a trade and keeping Turkoglu, whose contract is only guaranteed for $6 million in 2013-14.)
But if Orlando’s next general manager decides he must trade Turkoglu, not Davis, along with Howard, the list of teams that could make that happen shrinks considerably since you are talking about taking on almost $31 million worth of combined salary for next season.
But two teams that could make the trade work are the Brooklyn Nets (which remain Howard’s favored destination) and the New York Knicks. But it would be tricky in the first instance; costly in the second.
Here you can view a video where Sheridan claims there is a one percent chance that Howard is an Orlando Magic player next season.
If you are the Magic, you insist on ‘Melo, not wanting any part of Stoudemire’s uninsured contract. But if you are the Knicks (which means if you are Jim Dolan), you insist on keeping Anthony because of the price you paid for him and because of the scoring prowess he displayed in Games 3, 4 and 5 of the Knicks-Heat first-round playoff series. You tell whoever the Magic’s next GM is that he can have $3 million of Dolan’s cash instead.
If New York could make that deal, they’d have a nucleus of Howard, Anthony, Iman Shumpert, Landry Fields, and whoever they decided to use their mid-level exception on (the debate in this site has been the hypothetical choice of Steve Nash vs. Jeremy Lin). They’d have a sinkhole at the power forward spot, and they’d probably lose J.R. Smith as a free agent (he has a $2.5 million player option), and they’d have Turkoglu coming off the bench.
That's the trade scenario. Now here's the reasons why the Knicks should say no to any Howard trade.
First of all, the Knicks have finally started to learn how to play with one another. Despite not having very much practice time, the nucleus of the Knicks slowly gelled together and really hit their stride towards the end of the season. Under coach Mike Woodson, fans watched as Jeremy Lin, Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler looked like they had been together for years. Even J.R. Smith, who struggled in his time in New York, really started to find his groove towards the end of the season. With a full training camp under a coach who demands effort on both sides of the court there is no reason to believe this team wouldn't automatically improve from last season.
Speaking of Mike Woodson, didn't he just receive a new contract from the Knicks? Woodson is a confident guy and his three-year contract to coach the Knicks should only strengthen that confidence. That being said, Stan Van Gundy was very secure in his position as head coach of the Orlando Magic until Howard made a power play that cost Van Gundy his job. Howard can deny he wasn't behind the Van Gundy firing but the writing was on the wall. Either Howard directly asked for a new coach or failed to endorse Van Gundy. Either way, he's the reason the coach is unemployed.
In the same way, Howard cost Orlando's general manager Otis Smith his job as well. He basically lost his job for failure to make a decision and deal Howard or lock him up. Glen Grunwald was recently named the Knicks executive VP and general manager. Would Grunwald really want to risk his future by bringing in a young superstar like Howard who seemingly changes his mind from day to day on his basketball future and direction?
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