The Cleveland Cavaliers now find themselves in the thick of Dwight Howard trade talks that have been surfacing since free agency started on July 1. The Brooklyn Nets, who have been very busy since the free agency period started, are trying to acquire the pieces that they feel are essential for them to return to Eastern Conference supremacy. Whether that is with or without Howard is still yet to be answered.
The Nets hot pursuit to get the Cavaliers as the third team involved in the trade might be paying off, as Cleveland has expressed interest in acquiring the Brooklyn power forward with the possibility of landing other unnamed players and/or draft picks as part of the blockbuster deal. It has also been reported that the Los Angeles Clippers could be a fourth team to join in on the deal, with the Nets sending the Clippers MarShon Brooks for a draft pick to be sent to Orlando.
The Howard trade talks have consumed the NBA for the day, as the deal could involve over 10 players and the possibility of four teams in order to get the trade done. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports has reported that the proposed deal would send Orlando Magic players Howard, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark to the Nets. In return the Magic would receive Nets players Brook Lopez, Damion Jones, Sheldon Williams, three future first-round picks, Luke Walton from the Cavaliers and an additional first-round pick from the Clippers (if they accept to be the fourth team involved).
If the Clippers jump in on the trade Brooks would be sent over and the Cavaliers would receive Quentin Richardson from the Magic, Sundiata Gaines, Kris Humphries, a first-round pick and $3 million from the Nets. The catch about Humphries being involved in the trade is that the Cavaliers would only accept if he agreed to a one-year deal. Humphries, on the other hand, is looking for a four-year contract according to Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears. A similar trade was proposed a couple of weeks ago involving the Cavaliers and Nets, but was shot down by the Magic.
The Magic would like to send Howard to a Western Conference team, and it seemed for awhile that the All-Star center would be sent to the Los Angeles Lakers in a deal involving Andrew Bynum. With the Lakers trading future draft picks to the Phoenix Suns to acquire point guard Steve Nash and the less interesting trade package that Los Angles has to offer, the Magic have focused their trade talks solely with the Nets. The Houston Rockets’ big man-deprived roster has kept them out of the running for Howard, even though they have shown interest.
The Magic seems to be in a rush to restructure their team, as they traded away Ryan Anderson to the New Orleans Hornets for Gustavo Ayon. The Hornets shot a combined 33.3 percent from beyond the three-point arc, making a combined 259 threes. Anderson will add a lot of fire power to the Hornets’ outside shooting, as he converted an NBA-high 166 three pointers at a 39.3 percent clip.
As much of a rush as the Magic and new general manager Rob Hennigan are in to begin building a team without Howard drawing negative attention to the organization, they are still adamant on being patient to conduct the most desirable deal.
My thoughts on this possible trade have me leaning toward the Cavaliers helping to get the deal done. Although the Cavaliers will be helping a fellow Eastern Conference team, that has recently resigned stars Deron Williams and Gerald Wallace and traded for Atlanta Hawks’ guard Joe Johnson, gain leverage in becoming a powerhouse, I believe the trade will benefit the Cavaliers in the long run. And that’s what we should be looking to do.
The Cavaliers really only want to sign Humphries to a one-year deal, possibly using him as bait to stockpile more future draft picks. Humphries, who had the best season of his eight-sesaon career last season, would merit some favorable draft picks if the trade happens and if the Cavaliers decide to trade him. He averaged 13.8 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks while shooting 48.1 percent form the field.
Richardson, who posted averages of 4.5 points and 2.6 rebounds for the Magic last season, is on the downside of his career, but could end up being a valuable asset as the Cavaliers are very thin at the shooting forward position. Gaines, another player who may be sent to the Cavaliers, could also help the Cavaliers at the guard position as they waived shooting guard Manny Harris early last week. Gaines averaged 5.1 points and 2.2 assists last season with the Nets, but shot an unimposing 37.6 percent from the field. This isn’t what interests me, however. If the Cavaliers don’t acquire multiple draft picks from this trade (remember, nothing is imminent), I will see this as a failure.
Stay tuned to Right Down Euclid for more trade and free agency rumors
Tags: Brook Lopez Brooklyn Nets Cleveland Cavaliers Damion Jones Dwight Howard Earl Clark Jason Richardson Kris Humphries Los Angeles Clippers Luke Walton MarShon Brooks Orlando Magic Quentin Richardson Sheldon Williams Sundiata Gaines