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Monday, December 20th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  59 responses

Is Arenas Trade Enough to Keep Dwight Howard in Orlando?

by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

As the Orlando Magic‘s season got off to a rocky, and uninspired start, it became increasingly clear that their front-office had to make a move. The personnel they had wasn’t going to take them any further; change was in order.

Otis Smith and company made their move over the weekend, completely overhauling the team. The trades had a lot more to do with the summer of 2012 than this season. The Magic want to ensure that they won’t be completely decimated once Dwight Howard hits the free agent market.

Howard isn’t expected to sign an extension this summer, and Orlando can only hope that he appreciates the chess moves they’ve made enough to stick around town.

From CBS Sports:

“There’s a LeBron comparison here,” said a connected authority on NBA player movement. “You’ve got to put talent around these guys, these superstars, so they can win. I think if they didn’t make a move like this, I don’t think they would’ve been able to keep Dwight. Does this mean they keep him? Not for sure. But if this makes them a championship caliber team, the chances go up.”

And if it doesn’t work? Then Howard, a colossal talent who is privately envious of the Celtics’ Hall of Fame core and the free-agent coup pulled off by [LeBron] James and [Dwyane] Wade, will have one giant foot out the door. Howard’s agent, Dan Fegan, took a more diplomatic approach in praising the Magic for the moves. “It’s no secret that Dwight Howard is about winning a championship,” Fegan said. “A number of teams in the East have significantly upgraded their talent level. In order to compete, the trades consummated [Saturday] are important and represent a significant upgrade in talent.”

The prevailing wisdom is that, should he not feel as though he can win a title in Orlando (and soon), Howard will have his eyes set on taking his talents to the bright lights of either New York or Los Angeles.

It’s a terrifying thought for the Orlando Magic. They have pulled off a risky and expensive gamble to keep their franchise player happy. Only time will tell if it’ll be enough.

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  • shu

    No, it’s not. Winning solves everything, new players solve nothing. Then again he doesn’t seem like an attention w*ore that Lebron is.

  • http://www.myspace.com/freedmusic fredd

    Not every organisations have the talents of the celtics or spurs to build great teams/champions/chemistry.

  • beanzz

    What are the chances of being a laker???? That would be sweet!!!

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    LA bound…

  • Eric

    It’s strange that Otis Smith would even bring Arenas in. According to Smith great players do it by theirselves. Surely he considers Howard to be a great player.

  • http://sjkdflsf.com Jukai

    You know, if he DOES go to New York, a Dwight Howard/Amare Stoudemire front-court may be the most terrifyingly athletic thing our generation will ever see.

  • AT33

    I somehow have a feeling he’s gonna follow the footsteps of Shaq! Fail to win a ring with Orlando, off to LA in a sign and trade with Gasol or Bynum where he could team up with an aging Kobe and give it a shot for a dynasty yet again.

    Orlando should have traded for Nash, that would have instantly made them a favorite to win it all! Either Phx didn’t wanna trade him or Smith was stupid not to ask his price tag cuz in my book they gave up a lot (Gortat/Carter/Pietrus) for what they got (Hedo/JRich). The trade should have been Gortat/Nelson/Carter for Nash/JRich. I would have not traded Lewis for Arenas.

  • riggs

    chris paul amare dwight and melo in new york is terrifying, which is why it will never happen. ever.

  • biged

    @Jukai: how about a dwight howard/blake griffin front-court……

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    A few thoughts..
    -They lost a lot of defense.
    - Why trade Pietrus? and Gortat? Can’t they swap Hedo and Vince straight up? Do they really need JRich?
    - If they didn’t win it all this year, I smell Jameer next to be shopped.
    - This is Gil’s LAST chance. or it’s Euroleague for him.
    - Don’t underestimate chemistry.
    - Suns win overall.

  • Mike from Spain

    biged -> I thought exactly the same

  • rikson

    Watch out for Gil! Howard will give him the space on offense he needs… I expect him to flourish in that system!

  • http://studmuff73.blog.com/ Zabba

    Arenas isn’t the problem, it’s the Turkoglu. Suns wanted to trade the has-been during training camp, if you can believe that.

  • ClydeSays

    Dunno. Howard seems like a god-fearing, small town type. I can’t see him in LA or NYC, but who knows? I wouldn’t have predicted LBJ to Miami.

    Dwight was complaining about the lack of D from Lewis & Carter. I’m not sure getting Arenas helps that situation.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    - Arenas is a good risk actually. Would you rather feed Shard with that money?
    - Speaking of Lewis (and Vince) I think they would finish the season with their respective teams (no one would agree to a buyout with that money!!) and force a trade to an atleast respectable playoff team next season.
    - Hedo is done. He won’t be as effective as before since he needs the ball like Arenas and Jameer. Not to mention Dwight wants it more now too.

  • PapaBearATL

    I think this will be one of those decisions that we will have to see the outcome, Otis Smith will either be a genius or the biggest idiot. Neither team is better defensively and defense wins championships. Maybe a new location will breathe life into Arenas’ game. I still think Skip was better than Nelson though and they should of made changes at PG if they want to get better. Dwight won’t leave Disney, he’s a big ol’ kid and truly believes they can win in Orlando. If he leaves, come home to ATL!!!

  • http://thekobebeef.wordpress.com LDR4

    I wonder if Prokhorov is planning to stockpile everything he has in a futile attempt to get Howard to come to Brooklyn.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    ^ atleast Gil is a way better scorer than Shard or VC. If he still really is the Agent we know.

  • http://sjkdflsf.com Jukai

    J: Actually, the deal was for Richardson. Hedo was the throw-in.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    And Otis is a good GM in my eyes. He can make something happen like this so I think he has great plans in the near future for them. Orlando is a good market so Dwight won’t have an issue in that aspect. They are still contenders with that talent but I don’t think they’ll win it all this year. Dwight is still in a great position to contend the next 3-4 years.

  • Hursty

    Nelson and Dwight are apparently ‘besties’ so I’d be suprised to see Jameer go. Doubt they’ll want to upset Howard unless it involves Paul or Deron.

  • Bruno

    I hope Gilbert prove everybody wrong

  • T-Money

    Meh. If last summer taught us anything it’s that predicting where future FAs will end up two years down the road is completely useless.

  • KB8toSG8

    @LDR4

    They already have a young stud center in Lopez why would they want Dwight?!?!

    @Hursty….Butler was Kobe’s best pal on those horrible laker teams. Yet they still traded him away for Kwame. Best pal things don’t matter much IMO…..If best pals did matter, Bosh would’ve stayed in TOR, Amare in PHX and Paul would stay in NO…..

    We all know that it ain’t gonna happen…

  • underdog

    Gil got his second chance. I hope he’ll able to use it.

  • andynorstrom

    Worst move the magic have made in the past few years was getting rid of courtney lee. A good 3pt shooter who didnt act like a selfish douchebag and could defend. He fitted the team perfectly.

  • tony scorpio

    Hmmm, this looks kind of familiar…having a dominate big man, obtaining a scoring guard(although penny was a good distributor also) then the possibility to leave for greener pastures & ‘chip possibilities. I can almost see it now, “I’m taking my talents too…” & then watch everybody sayn kobe didn’t win his #8,#9 & #10 without dwight howard.

  • whoooo!

    why is the assumption he’ll head to NY or LA? is that even supported by ANY notion, or is it just being thrown out there because ‘everyone’ loves NY and LA? seriously, i’m curious if he’s said anything in the past about that?

  • Shem

    Arenas > Lewis
    Richardson > Carter
    Turkoglu < Pietrus and Gortat and 1st round pick
    simple..

  • http://bleacherreport.com/articles/408237-bryant-vs-jordan-theres-still-no-debate-jordan-is-king nbk

    Otis Smith obviously just traded for 3 people he has a history with, and is comfortable with. JRich and Arenas were both brought in by Otis in Golden State, and obviously he had Hedo 2 years ago. This trade was about adding familiar offense to an already established defense

  • http://www.slamonline.com Cheryl

    I actually like this move. If they can play help defense, this may be a better team than the one they had before Carter. But I do see Howard bolting if they don’t at least get the the ECF. And it looks like 2011 will be a lockout season. Poor Orlando.

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    Otis was trying to improve his team’s prospects? Now here I was thinking he was more of a competitor.

    btw, how pissed would Shaq be if Dwight copied his act further by going to LA in free agency?

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Yeah, I really don’t see him as being the big-city/big market type guy. I could see him wanting to go to ATL, back home. Him with Joe Johnson and Josh Smith could do some damage. I’d love him in Chicago though. We can trade Boozer for him…Noah can slide to the 4. Nothing against Boozer but come on, it’s Dwight Howard.

  • http://bleacherreport.com/articles/408237-bryant-vs-jordan-theres-still-no-debate-jordan-is-king nbk

    Dwight will be a Clipper or Maverick if he leaves Orlando. Those are the most attractive teams, in big markets (where the money outside the game is at), with enough resources to get him while staying elite. But that wouldn’t happen till 2012 regardless

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Dight and Blake Griffin would be absolutely bananas. But I don’t want him to go to the Clippers. I don’t want anyone good to go to the Clippers as long as Sterling is owner.

  • http://bleacherreport.com/articles/408237-bryant-vs-jordan-theres-still-no-debate-jordan-is-king nbk

    me neither man. you know sterling once turned down $1 Billion for the clippers?

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/32JSE Yesse

    If the season ends well then, yeah.

  • Overtime

    I hate this mentality, making moves just to keep your star happy. No. Dwight should be grateful, they drafted him, gave him minutes, and he in return has played hard and well for them. This is how it goes.

  • kobesBESTfriend

    they can def compete with Miami now but Boston may be a different story

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Not to sound like an overly optimistic Magic fan here, but Dwight isn’t leaving Orlando.

  • Cheers

    I blame all of this on Kobe. Thanks Kobe, for being the best player in the NBA and taking all the championships away from the superstars. You’re so selfish, you should learn to share. Now you making every superstars wanting to team up just to beat you.Thanks a lot Kobe. You and your Lakers have changed the NBA landscape, are you happy now?

  • http://www.twitter.com/AllBall247 AllBall247

    This makes the Magic a better team in the short term, it seemed like the current core had ran its course. HoopsHype had something about how this is all brought on by Bron, how now the GM’S have to do whatever it takes to please their superstars.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    lul… WHY does New York appear EVERY TIME A PLAYER MIGHT LEAVE HIS TEAM?! This is very annoying. Why the hell would Dwight leave his already better team to go to New York? New York is a great city, I get that–it’s my favorite city and I used to live there as a kid. And I’m a Knicks fan.
    But does Dwight Howard REALLY need the New York market to be the most popular center in the NBA? No, because he already is. Just like Amare didn’t need the Knicks to be voted in as an All-Star starter every year.

  • mdshuai33

    @ Overtime
    Nothing personal, but I hate the mentality that a player isn’t allowed to expect a return from the team for all of his effort. How much money has Dwight made that franchise? It’s a business, right? He’s an employee – their best employee, by the way. Why shouldn’t he deserve the same level of commitment that they get from him on a daily basis?

  • http://www.twitter.com/chris_griff_3 Chris_Griff_3

    I can see New Jersey making a HUGE play for Dwight.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Sterling once turned down one BILLION for the Clippers? DAMN. I don’t get it. He obviously doesn’t give a sh*t about his team winning, and they’re not nearly as profitable as they would be if they WERE winning, so why the hell does he insist on keeping it for himself when many others who know what the hell they’re doing would glady pay him handsomely for the team?

  • O

    As much as i’d love Dwight in NY, I doubt they’ll have the money to sign him. Plus I don’t know if that’ll work what with Amar’e and if we have him, Melo competing for shots along with CP3. I mean if anyone can draw up plays it’s D’Antoni, but I don’t see it happening unless Dwight and ‘em REALLY wanna make sure Miami never reaches the Finals…

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    No, they need to trade for Mo Williams and Antawn Jamison to keep him happy.

  • Overtime

    @mdshuai33
    I get your point man, the Magic should be building around him and making moves, but Howard should be grateful to them too. And they shouldnt just be scurrying around trying to keep him happy, im not liking that

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    INSIDE INFORMATION: Lakers are working on a deal to send 2 future 1st round picks, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom to Orlando for Dwight Howard. Christmas Fools, but it should happen.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Enigmatic, one billion? Thats beyond insane. If that actually happened, wheres proof……….. …….. …. Imagine dwight and dirk together. They fit perfectly. Ones strength is the others weakness. That would be astronomical!

  • hendry

    i actually think given the chance, gilbert would be the better pg starting. jameer look like he lost it when he had that nasty injury, and never seem to be able to come back playing to that level before the injury. say what you want, but jameer isnt a playmaker like arenas is.

  • http://all33sports.blogspot.com layOFFtheHATERADE

    Yes. if arenas goes thru the dramatic transformtaion i think he will go thru. well, more revival than transfomation.

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    I’m pretty sure outside of LAL CLE BOS & NYK they were most profitable last season because of their guaranteed revenue no matter what the team or checkbook looks like. The clippers have basically been a team to showcase the rest of the leagues talent for the pines amounts of got nothin to do rich people in LA. Like Bill Simmons

  • http://Slamonline.com Nbk

    oober* amount

  • L

    This trade makes Orlando too soft on D and too thin up front.A desperate move that will conduct to others to make DH happy.I guess he is on his way to NY or Dallas in a couple of years.. L

  • http://www.slamonline.com Anon e Mouse

    Lay off the pipe The Seed. Why the hell would LA want to trade “The Spaniard” and LO? For anyone?. Co-sign Cheryl and Enigmatic’s 12:56 comment.

  • Ged23ai

    Riggs it would be strange to see dwight in another team colours then this could happen I think that if the magic don’t make to the ec finals this season if they don’t find a decent backup center, then come 2012 he’ll be gone. New York are favourites in my opinion amare & dwight new York s most fearsome frontcourt peace slamdome !

  • Big M.D.W

    Dwight should go to the bulls with Drose what a combo killer

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