Bill Simmons. I said that name because if it's a name that makes you run screeching for a barf bag, I didn't want to waste your time any further. I like to front my failures. Something I learned in law school. Now, for those of you still here, regardless of any trepidation, let me say that he did write at least one interesting article back in December about Dwight Howard and the trade rumors surrounding him:
Now, in that article Bill Simmons makes a pretty compelling case about why Dwight Howard should be seeking a trade to the Chicago Bulls. Note, neither he nor I at this point are saying the Bulls need to make that trade or should be seeking it, just that of all the teams in the NBA, the Bulls are where Dwight could do the most damage, namely because they are the most talented team in the NBA in the depth department.
The Heat have more superstars, but the Heat aren't about to trade Bosh and [do they have anyone else besides LeBron and Wade?] for Dwight. The Bulls, while having less superstars, do have about 6 guys in that B to A- range. Hakeem Olajuwon proved in Houston that as long as Michael Jordan isn't playing, one Superstar surrounded by B to A- players can win, at least if you're the best center currently playing. The Bulls could trade half those guys and still find 3 star caliber (I said star, not superstar) players to round out the starting 5 with Rose and Howard. The point is, the Bulls are the only team that could trade away enough talent to get Orlando to agree to release Dwight without committing seppuku themselves. Let's say the Bulls trade Noah and Deng for Howard, they've still got Boozer, Gibson, and Hamilton, with Asik coming off the bench in support. That's a team that can beat the Heat and maybe win a title. Again, I'm not saying this should happen, but if it did I wouldn't cry.
So what is the latest news on Howard?
Howard says he wants to play for the Clippers. Specifically, he wants to play with Griffin and Paul. Dude, I want to play with Griffin and Paul but I might have a better chance. In what world does this happen? It certainly doesn't happen by trade. The Clippers already traded away Eric Gordon and picks to get Paul. The Clippers already gambled away most of their talent and future prospects that aren't NBA dunk champs to get Paul and compete NOW. So what is left? What could the Clippers possibly trade to convince Orlando to give them Howard? Chauncey Billups and DeAndre Jordan? Are you serious? Orlando gets more value out of just playing out the season with Dwight and offering a max contract in free agency, showing its fans they did everything they could. The only way the Clippers get Howard is if Orlando just wants to get rid of Howard (hint: they don't) and NO ONE ELSE is offering something better (hint: they will). Howard seems to be unaware of what a "trade" actually is: two parties finding a mutually beneficial exchange. The Clippers have nothing left to make a package with anything approaching the value of Howard UNLESS they trade Griffin or Paul, which would be unacceptable to Howard because those are the guys he wants to play with.
The only other way that happens is if he pulls a LeBron. Go free agency and then sign with the Clippers when he is free and clear. But guess what Dwight, someone's taking a pay cut. There is a salary cap out there. Maybe with Griffin's rookie contract they can make it work, but then Griffin is gonna wanna get paid or bolt when his years are up.
Looking at the rest of his list: The Nets, the Lakers, the Mavs. The Lakers MIGHT be able to swing him by giving up Bynum (1 for 1 is a bad trade, but maybe Orlando says fuck it), in which case Howard just improves the team in the same position as Bynum. The Mavs would depend on them staying the same team as they are (same as the Clippers, not losing any talent). The Nets would be the Magic all over again with different geography. That team sucks and Howard on them makes them a playoff spoiler but not an NBA champion.
I don't know how Chicago doesn't make Howard's list, but more importantly, I don't know how he expects the Clippers to happen without destroying the very thing he's trying to accomplish. It reminds me of the three best kids on the playground saying "well what if we made our own team and put all the scrubs on the other, that would be awesome." On the playground the other kids just won't play, and in the NBA we have salary caps and oh, I don't know, rational self-fucking interest on the part of trade partners not just making the NBA Howard's sandbox for wish fulfillment.