We keep waiting on New Jersey to make a big move. Since acquiring Deron Williams midway through last season, they’ve been a ticking bomb. There are only so many chances to hit a home run and with Williams doing the obvious – declaring his intentions to be a free agent next summer – the Nets cannot afford to come away empty handed.. again. So knowing the Lakers will always be hot on the trail of Dwight Howard, and seeing their prime target, Nene, get reeled back in by Denver for $67 million last night, earlier this morning ESPN sources said Mikhail Prokhorov‘s bunch are speeding up their efforts to land the best big man of this generation.
ESPN reports that the original talks between Orlando and New Jersey have expanded to include Portland and Gerald Wallace, and may grow to include a fourth team. With this deal, the Magic would come away with Wallace and Brook Lopez as valuable assets while also being able to shed the terrible deals of Hedo Turkoglu and Chris Duhon and receiving some future draft considerations. The Nets would get their big man, but he’d come at a price. They’d take in both of those bad contracts, and combining the approximately $46 million still owed Turkoglu and Duhon (both of their final years are partially guaranteed) with new deals for Howard and Williams would eat away at New Jersey’s cap. Still, I’d take the deal in a second if it meant pairing Howard with my superstar point guard. Sort out the mess later.
By most accounts I’ve heard, Portland wants to shed Wallace and the $19 million left on his deal to make room for Jamal Crawford. LaMarcus Aldridge has been recruiting the former Sixth Man of the Year all summer, and while the Blazers have screwed up a whole lot in the last few years, I doubt they want to piss off their best player. Crawford currently has them in his final three destinations. While Wallace is certainly still a very solid player (he made my top 10 small forward list), much of what he does can be replaced by the cheaper (will make less than $2.2 million this year) and younger (happy birthday by the way… he turned 23 today) Nicolas Batum. ESPN reports the Blazers would get back multiple first-round picks.
But do the Magic really want to do a deal right now? Howard’s gone back and forth – should I stay or should I go? Orlando doesn’t exactly want a deal until they’re absolutely sure Howard is out. The worst possible conclusion for them would be to jump the gun and bite the bullet to get back average worth (Lopez is okay, but not an All-Star. The same with Wallace.). Until then, I can’t see them making a move.
How would everyone make out in this trade?
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