Is Dwight Howard Really Going To Get Traded To The Golden State Warriors?
Dwight Howard has made one thing perfectly clear for the Orlando Magic: At the end of the 2011-12 NBA season, he will sign a long-term contract with either the New Jersey Nets, the Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Lakers or, possibly, the Magic. That’s it. He’s not willing to sign with any other teams out there and, if they happen to trade for him before the end of this season, he wants them to know that. Yet, teams other than the Nets, Mavericks, and Lakers continue to try and throw their hats into the ring when it comes to trading for Dwight Howard.
Earlier this week, we heard that the Atlanta Hawks were engaged in talks with the Magic a couple of weeks ago to trade for Howard. It didn’t work out. But now, a Yahoo! Sports report has popped up indicating that yet another team not named the Nets, Mavericks, or Lakers has an interest in making a deal with the Magic. That team is the Golden State Warriors and they are interested in possibly sending either Stephon Curry or Monte Ellis in addition to a couple of draft picks and a couple of other players currently on their roster in exchange for Howard. They’re not bothered by the fact that Howard has said that he would not sign with teams other than the ones he’s listed. They feel like they could sell him on the fact that they have a large media market—a top-five media market, in fact—and that they’re planning on moving to a new arena in downtown San Francisco sometime in the next five years. They just want to get him to come to town first so that they can work on convincing him ASAP.
Is that smart, though? Because Howard has been crystal-clear in saying that he’ll only sign a long-term deal with a select group of teams, should a team like the Warriors really mortgage their entire franchise for a chance to sign Howard to a contract? Should they rent an All-Star center for a portion of an already-shortened season despite the fact that they don’t have much of a chance to make a playoff run this year? Should they really be trying to do this deal? No, they shouldn’t. And neither should any other team not named the Nets, Mavericks, or Lakers. The truth is that Howard isn’t going to play for the Warriors next year. Or the Hawks. Or any other team not on his “list.” And anyone dumb enough to try to trade for him knowing full and well that he’s going to leave after the season is putting an entire franchise at risk of being down and out for the next five to ten years as a result of it.
Dwight Howard is clearly a great player. And he’d automatically make just about every team in the league a playoff contender. But he’ll also cripple a team that trades for him this season and loses him in the offseason. So, please: Let any thought of trading for Howard disappear immediately. Howard has made one thing perfectly clear: He’s going to play where he wants to play next season. So don’t go and gamble the future of your franchise thinking you can change his mind. Because you can’t. And you won’t. And the results could be disastrous.