By: Royce White, CBSsports.com
There's a trade on the table, or at least the framework of one, that would send Dwight Howard to Brooklyn.
But goodness, it's complicated.
Here it is, via Yahoo! Sports:
- Brooklyn gets: Dwight Howard, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark from the Magic.
- Cleveland gets: Quentin Richardson from the Magic, Sundiata Gaines, Kris Humphries (on a one-year guaranteed deal), a first-round pick and $3 million from the Nets.
Also, Brooklyn would send MarShon Brooks to a fourth team for an additional first-round pick to send to the Magic.
Got all that? In summary, it's a terrible trade for Orlando in terms of equal value for Howard, one that David Stern would likely veto for "basketball reasons" if he owned the Magic. But, Orlando's hands are tied with Howard essentially pushing his way to Brooklyn.
I'm hurrying to write this thing because in the NBA world, this thing could've broken completely apart before I get to his "publish."
As Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has reported, there are a lot of hurdles to be jumped before anything gets done, but there's actual progress being made on the trade front.
Obviously the question is, is that it for Orlando? Is that the best the Magic can do? They don't have to trade Howard anywhere. And they certainly don't have to send him to Brooklyn. That may be the most complete package because Howard would re-sign with the Nets, but teams like the Rockets and Warriors have been open about renting Howard for a year. Could a package to one of those destinations at least compete with this?
Because in the end, the Magic are only getting one quality NBA player in return -- Brook Lopez -- and the Magic would have to focus on re-signing him to a big deal right away. The four first-round picks would be solid, but those don't carry weight unless good players fall to those spots.
I think the question Rob Hennigan has to ask himself is if a deal grabbing at scraps and picks is good enough to pull the trigger or if maybe just letting Howard expire and going for a little sign-and-trade type of deal like what Cleveland did with LeBron James is a better plan. It might result in some painful seasons, but it could also open a better long-term plan.
Nothing is done until it's done, and with this many moving parts and as many complications involved as there are, more than likely this post will be garbage within the week.