The news broke late Thursday night that Dwight Howard reportedly wants to be traded to the New Jersey Nets, presumably to team up with Jay-Z and rule Brooklyn when the team moves there next year.
It sounds all well and good, but you have to wonder, will David Stern veto the deal?
He obviously likes to do that, even if the deals are sensible. The Hornets are only getting Lamar Odom (best sixth man in basketball), Kevin Martin and Luis Scola?! The Rockets are only getting Pau Gasol (a four-time All-Star)?! All for Chris Paul, who's clearly better than all of those players combined?! Outrageous!
That at least seems to be the thought from Stern and the NBA's owners after they decided to nix the Paul trade to L.A., which makes you wonder how any star can ever be traded again in the league. When a player in the final year of his contract wants out, there's no way any team can ever get full value in return, so what the Hornets got really wasn't all that bad.
Now consider Howard, the NBA's premier center. The 6-foot-11, 265-pound freak of nature is a three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, a five-time All-Star and a four-time All-NBA First Teamer. Oh, and he turned 26 years old on Thursday. Try getting fair value in return for him. Good luck.
Firing up the ESPN NBA trade machine, you'll see that the Nets' only big contract belongs to Deron Williams, who's a point guard. Sure, he's leaps and bounds better than Jameer Nelson, but the Magic will have a massive hole at center that they'll likely want to fill before acquiring a big-name, big-money point guard. And behind Williams, the Nets have pretty much zero players that would be considered stars (sorry, Jordan Farmar).
So there would have to be a third team involved … a third team that would only serve, really, as a facilitator for Dwight Howard's demands. And isn't one of the main reasons this Paul deal was nixed the fact that the league didn't want the star to dictate where he gets traded to? So aren't we going down this same road again?
Whatever happens, hats off to Stern and the NBA for inviting these questions upon the league, and good luck to Howard, wherever he may end up. Hopefully the nonsense doesn't force him to join the Orlando Miracle.