After weeks of trying to trade Dwight Howard, the Magic have been unable to find a suitable deal.
Howard's preferred destination is Brooklyn, but the two sides were unable to come to an agreement after lengthy deliberations. The Lakers and Magic have been discussing a possible trade, but that deal looks like it may fall apart as well.
The reason the Magic have not been able to come to an agreement with the Lakers or Nets is because they need a third team involved. Brooklyn doesn't have enough to offer Orlando. Los Angeles can offer Andrew Bynum, but Orlando is skeptical of acquiring the center because his contract is up in a year.
The Cavaliers have been involved in helping facilitate both potential trades. Cleveland has a lot of young assets, including future draft picks. They are also under the salary cap and can afford to take on large contracts.
In the discussed deal with L.A., the pieces Orlando would receive all come from Cleveland. The biggest holdup is Andrew Bynum's unwillingness to sign an extension with the Cavs.
If the Magic like what the Cavs have to offer, why doesn't Cleveland just trade for Howard?
Orlando has shown signs that they would agree to a straight up deal with Cleveland. They like Cavs forward Anderson Varejao and want to rebuild by acquiring draft picks and clearing cap space. Cleveland can take on a large contract like Jason Richardson or Hedo Turkoglu, and they have the necessary pieces to appease the Magic.
Cleveland hasn't been seriously discussed as a possible landing spot for Howard, but it makes a lot of sense. The Cavs have been looking for a superstar to replace LeBron James, and Howard is a top five talent in the NBA.
Howard might not make Cleveland a championship contender right away, but he'd certainly make them a formidable team in the Eastern Conference. The center had a lot of success in Orlando with not much help around him, even leading them to the NBA Finals in 2009. With the Cavs, he'd play with one of the best young point guards in the league in Kyrie Irving.
Cleveland might be hesitant to make the move because of the risk involved. Howard won't sign an extension with them before the summer and he has never suggested that he wants to play for the Cavs. The big man has had his sights set on big cities like New York and Los Angeles, not Cleveland.
However, the Cavs have a lot of the same qualities that the Nets possess. Howard wants to play for Brooklyn because they have an elite point guard and he would be the face of the franchise. The same would be true for him in Cleveland.
Irving has shown that he has the potential to be a superstar in the NBA. The Cavs have never even won a game in the NBA Finals, and Howard would be viewed as a hero if he could bring a championship to Cleveland.
Because Howard is so talented, it might be worth the risk for Cleveland to acquire him. Once Howard becomes a free agent, they could offer him $20 million more than any other team. Professional athletes are not known to walk away from that kind of money.
If Howard does decide to test the free agent market, his options would be limited. The Lakers and Nets are both over the salary cap, so he wouldn't be able to sign with either of them. The Mavericks and Rockets might be the biggest threat to sign him, but he hasn't show a desire to play for either of those teams.
Howard could make the Cavaliers a winner once again. Cleveland could probably get a deal done, they just have to be willing to take a chance.