Posted by: Jimmy on April 28th, 2011The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
Yeah that’s right, Superman. Aka the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year. Aka Duh-Wight (picture Charles Barkley saying it.) Aka the guy who’s going to keep Deron Williams in a Nets jersey.
You’re probably thinking, “Dwight Howard plays in Orlando, what does he have to do with Deron Williams?” Great question. Let’s look at the situation.
Dwight wants to win. And he wants to win, bad. His Twitter profile affirms that he is after one thing and one thing only: “After the ring!” Remember, he’s been close enough to taste it, falling to the Lakers in the ’08-’09 NBA Finals. And don’t forget, that’s not the only prize he’s been close to in his career; Howard has been near the top of the league’s MVP voting the past two years (and has fallen short,) despite being surely the NBA’s Most Irreplaceable Player. Yet for all his troubles, “Superman” has only a second place finish and an MVP consolation prize (DPOY award) x2.
By now it should be clear to Dwight and everyone else that he’s not getting a ring OR an MVP in Orlando. There’s not enough star power, not the right pieces around him. Think Chris Bosh’s situation in Toronto, on steroids. The All-Star talent is there, just not enough wins and not enough respect. So what’s a Dwight to do? There are a few possible solutions….
Solution number one would involve Dwight being traded this offseason to either Chicago or L.A. Both teams could offer serious value back to the Magic, both in terms of bigs (Noah or Bynum) and other value pieces. The question is, are these two winning franchises interested in a drastic overhaul of their lineups just to fix something that isn’t broken? My bet is that they aren’t. All of Chicago’s pieces fit, and the Lakers are the two-time defending champs. It’s just not happening. Not now, not for Dwight.
A second solution would involve Chris Paul leaving New Orleans to join Dwight in Orlando as a free agent. While this sounds like it could work (especially since Paul has been rumored to want out of NO for some time), Orlando’s system is not made for a CP3-type player. When you have a Chris Paul, you run the offense through Chris Paul. Orlando doesn’t play that way. They feed Dwight the ball early and often, and play off of what the defense gives him. PLUS, Dwight doesn’t want to stay in Orlando. If he did, he would have locked himself into an extension which would guarantee him two extra years at around $22 million dollars per year. By not signing that extension, he could be leaving up to $14 million on the table, depending on what the new CBA brings. And on top of THAT, CP3 is headed to NY, where his skills will fit wonderfully with Amar’e and Mike D’Antoni’s PG-driven system.
That leaves one viable option for Dwight: Join Deron Williams in New Jersey for the next season, then make the move to Brooklyn and usher in the new era of NY basketball. This is the obvious best choice for Superman. Why? Think about it:
1. Playing in New York multiplies his star power and his endorsement deals.
2. Winning is Prokhorov’s number one priority, and he is willing to pay to make it happen.
3. Playing with D Will in New York finally brings him the attention and, hopefully, the wins to bring him the NBA title and the MVP trophy.
This leaves only one problem: Do the Nets have the pieces to get this deal done?
Well, they can offer Brook Lopez for starters, as well as Kris Humphries (whom they’d need to re-sign as a free agent.) These two players alone would give the Magic 30 ppg and 16 rpg, and help them fit into more of a traditional two-big role with guys who are ready to start. The Nets are also WAY under the cap next year, and could make a lot of things happen, either by signing free agents or bringing other teams into the deal. In their bid for Melo the Nets showed that they can bring in as many teams as necessary, and a trade for a player as big as Dwight Howard would almost certainly need to involve multiple teams with assets.
This is a deal, for the Nets, that doesn’t need to happen before the season. They’ve got time, but they NEED this deal to get done and will do just about whatever it takes to make it happen. That’s how they keep Deron. That’s how they make the leap to Brooklyn, and to greatness.
And for Dwight and Deron, this is how they get a real shot at the ring they want so badly. Who’s going to keep this deal from going down? The Magic? I don’t think so.
So Jazz fans, get used to seeing Deron in red, white and blue.
And Orlando fans, get used to seeing Dwight Howard beside him.
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