Dwight Howard's requested trade to Brooklyn is still alive, despite the Nets trading for Joe Johnson and his enormous four year, $90 million contract.
A potential trade between the Magic and Nets would include Brooklyn sending MarShon Brooks, Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries, and three future first-round picks to Orlando. In return, the Nets would receive Howard, the best center in the NBA. At the moment, the trade is still only in the discussion phase, as the Nets are seeking a third NBA team to assist in a deal for Howard.
The Nets are in a trading frenzy right now, trying to gather the best available NBA talent in order to lure coveted free agent Deron Williams back to the team. If they can land Howard, Brooklyn will have built their own Big Three to rival the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Although Brooklyn is Howard's preferred destination, three other teams remain in the picture: the Houston Rockets, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Atlanta Hawks.
Rockets Trade Rumors
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The Rockets can offer Orlando a slew of young players and fresh rookie talent acquired from this year's NBA Draft. Among players that interest the Magic, the most notable are Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Kyle Lowry, Chandler Parsons, Patrick Patterson, and restricted free agent Courtney Lee.
A trade between the Rockets would most likely involve shipping Scola, Martin, Lee, and one of their talented rookies -- Royce White, Jeremy Lamb, or Terrence Jones -- off to Orlando for Howard. This potential trade bodes well for the Rockets because they get the best center in the game, while giving their young guns a chance to get more playing time. On the other hand, Orlando gets a package of proven veterans and a great rookie to begin their rebuilding process.
If traded to Houston, Howard is surrounded by a strong nucleus of Patterson, Lowry, Parsons, Marcus Morris, and two very talented rookies. This trade would help Orlando end the Howard dilemma, while also giving it a youth influx.
Lakers Trade Rumors
Widely regarded as the league's second best center, Andrew Bynum is being discussed as the centerpiece for a trade between the Lakers and Magic. A simple swap of Bynum for Howard is being discussed as the fairest option between the two teams.
Bynum is the only NBA center that's realistically comparable to Howard. If Orlando trades Howard to Los Angeles, the Lakers get a more physical interior presence to support Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant. Orlando in return gets a younger center that has the potential to become as good, potentially better, than Howard.
Player for player, this is the best deal Orlando can get for Howard based on Bynum's phenomenal year last season. The Lakers benefit by solidifying an already-strong core of stars to contend for another NBA title.
Hawks Trade Rumors
Atlanta can also offer Orlando a quality trade package, featuring Al Horford and Jeff Teague. Horford is one the league's better centers, while Teague proved to be an emerging talent at the point guard position last season.
By already ridding themselves of Johnson's mammoth contract, the Hawks can achieve their goal of getting a completely fresh start by swapping Horford and Teague for Howard. In Orlando's case, the team receives two players that will finally get a chance to step into the spotlight.
If Horford can return to All-Star shape, he can partially fill the void in the paint left by Howard. Teague could also thrive in Orlando by finally getting the chance to become the No. 1 option at guard after being overshadowed by Johnson. Teague, a strong three-pointer shooter, could develop into an offensive threat if given a more prominent role in Orlando than he had in Atlanta.