From the information I have gathered it sounds like the Orlando Magic is going to trade Dwight Howard, their centerpiece, to the Brooklyn Nets. But before that happens, I have a message for the Magic organization.
Mike Hill and Michael Smith were filling-in for the original Mike and Mike on today’s show of Mike and Mike in the Morning, the show I usually listen to on my way to work. Smith proposed a brilliant thought and I absolutely loved it. He proposed that the Magic trade Howard, but not to Brooklyn. Smith said, “The Magic should not reward Dwight Howard’s behavior and his flip-flopping by sending him where he wants to go.”
First Howard wanted to be traded, and then he wanted to stick-it-out in Orlando. Then the awkward debacle between he and former head coach Stan Van Gundy followed by more trade rumors. He wants to go to Brooklyn, not Los Angeles. This and that and the saga have continued to punch Orlando in the face, day after day after day. It’s like a 12-round boxing match, but Orlando wants it to stop in the 10th round because they can’t take getting beaten down every minute of the day. And let’s be honest, whatever the hell Brooklyn is offering isn’t worth what Orlando is getting in return for Howard. Brook Lopez and a couple of first round picks, really? Brooklyn doesn’t know that with Deron Williams and Joe Johnson they will be a playoff team this year? Their draft picks mean nothing to Orlando because they won’t be lottery picks. And Lopez, don’t even get me started. Lopez is one of the softest centers in professional basketball. He has skill, don’t get me wrong, but is he the “prized” player Orlando wants? Hell no.
Rephrasing a quote from you Batman and few Magic fans out there, “He’s not the player we deserve, but the player we need right now.”
So what should the Magic do with OR to Howard? The answer is simple.
Trade him to Washington, Toronto, Golden State, Phoenix, Sacramento, Portland, Utah, Milwaukee, Detroit, or Charlotte. I could care-less about Brooklyn creating another “super-team” (is that what they are called today?). It’s about Orlando sending a message to Howard saying, “We don’t like what you have done or tried to do to this franchise. We don’t appreciate the day-to-day rigors of your behavior, attitude and inability to get better. With the way you have mentally and physically treated this franchise for the past 8-12 months, we aren’t granting your wish to go to Brooklyn. Instead, we will be sending you elsewhere. Good luck.”
That’s what Orlando needs to do because if they trade Howard and get Lopez and meaningless draft picks in return, well, do you remember how bad they were after Shaquille O’Neal walked away from them? They were a .500 team, barely getting into the playoffs and being bounced in the first round and the only reason they made the playoffs was because they had Penny Hardaway. And if you didn’t know, there is no Penny Hardaway on this team! This team is full of bad contracts, old and unreliable players who are at the end of their careers, with no head coach, new management and a pissed-off fan base.
That’s not how you get to the playoffs or get in as an eight seed. Just making the playoffs isn’t good enough. Just making the playoffs gets coaches fired. Mike Woodson made the playoffs with the Atlanta Hawks several years in a row and what happened to him? He got fired! Why? Because it’s not good enough! And if Orlando, somehow, does make it to the playoffs, they might as well just pack it in because they are not beating the Miami Heat or Chicago Bulls in the first round.
Do the sensible thing Orlando and trade Howard to a team that he doesn’t want to play for so we can see if he knows how to make up his mind by the time next July rolls around. Because if he is a free agent at that time, where will he sign?
I know it won’t be Brooklyn.