It goes without saying that the scribes here at Philadunkia have grown weary of discussing the 76ers on the court ills during this season of the tank. Long before this week’s depressing home losses to the also-tanking Celtics and the depleted Lakers our water cooler talk had turned to discussing what trades Sam Hinkie could possibly put together in an effort to rebuild this franchise.
The usual trade suspects on the 76ers’ roster — Thad, Turner and Hawes — are mentioned in these daily deadline discussions. We’ve all read the rumors or reports from “sources” about possible trade destinations for the three veterans on this team. To be honest, it seems like those stories have been circulating online since the Sixers broke camp.
However, with the NBA trade deadline just 11 days away, a fresh trade idea was proposed by one of the scribes here at Philadunkia that would put Dwight Howard in a 76ers uniform. After the jump, that potential trade will be outlined and discussed.
76ers Get: Dwight Howard
Houston Gets: Thad, Hawes, Turner and Noel.
Steve Toll: That trade is a snap call YES for both teams. Here’s why…
Houston gets BETTER and their owner is fine with going into the luxury tax. Asik moves into a starter role. Hawes plays 18 mpg. as the backup center. Thad and Terrence Jones are a dynamic power forward combination. Turner is still one of the most inefficient players in the League (a.k.a. He sucks.), but is an upgrade at backup SG/SF over Omri Casspi and friends. As a bonus, Houston also gets former lottery pick Nerlens Noel who looked very good during his post surgery workouts this week.
The 76ers get D12, enough said…but yet I’ll expand on that thought. Dwight is the best player in the most important position in basketball and he’s 28 years old. If you don’t believe in Dwight as a player, take a look at what’s happened the last couple years on the two teams he has departed and the two teams he has joined.
Imagine a roster of D12, MCW, Moultrie, Wroten and Hollis Thompson, plus two 2014 1st round draft picks. With Howard and a host of young talent, Philadelphia is suddenly a very attractive destination for the 2014 and 2015 free agent classes.
If Hinkie can ship J-Rich to Utah for a future 1st pick + Furkan Aldemir, the Sixers will maintain a great amount of cap room (roughly $25 million) and not have given up any future 1st round picks to acquire the best center in the game.
Michael Kaskey-Blomain: If this purposed Dwight Howard trade idea were a dead cat on the side of the road I wouldn’t approach it. I wouldn’t touch it, or poke it with a stick. I wouldn’t let curiosity get the best of me, or anything along those lines. I would stay the hell away from it, and that’s exactly what I would do with Dwight.
I wouldn’t want him anywhere near the franchise for several reasons. First of all, I don’t think he is a winner. Physically, he is the most gifted and athletic center since Shaq. His combination of size, strength, and athleticism is unparalleled, and so far in his illustrious NBA career, he has managed one NBA Finals appearance – a loss – as we all know.
Additionally, he has pissed off two franchises in recent years. He has called out teammates, and then backed down on his comments when further questioned about them. He has complained about a coach and then changed his tone on television. He has proven that he cannot take a team to a title on his own, and although it’s a common criticism of him, he just doesn’t seem to have the drive or desire necessary to be great.
I don’t care how many rebounds he gets a game; he should get rebounds, he’s the biggest dude on the court at any given time. Howard’s ego, attitude, and experience is just the wrong mix for a young team with a budding star in Carter-Williams, looking to add more budding stars and build a young contender. Dwight’s style of play is also going out of style. There are very few back to the basket bigs left, and that type of player is not as necessary as they were in the 1990’s. Dwight serves as a great paint protector, but he can’t guard the perimeter, can’t shoot, and can’t make free throws; he is extremely limited in what he brings to the table, and what he brings to the table is a dying breed of ball. Noel might develop into a great rim protector too for all we know. All I know, for sure, is that I would not bring Dwight Howard anywhere near the Sixers. Even with James Harden, Chandler Parsons playing out of his mind, and a back-up center that could be starting for many teams in the League, Dwight isn’t going to take home a title this season. He hasn’t ever gotten it done yet, and he’s only getting older with more wear and tear on the big body. Is the rest of his career going to be as statistically productive as the first 9 years? I doubt it. I would even venture to argue that his best years are behind him. For a team that has been approaching the rebuild the right way, bringing Dwight anywhere near this young Sixers squad would be the wrong move.
C. Smith: I understand the numerous positive aspects of this proposed trade for the 76ers and I have to admit that those elements would make it very difficult for me NOT to pull this trigger on this deal. I love the idea of starting line-up that has a foundation of Howard at the 5-spot; Julius Randle at the 4 (potentially); Andrew Wiggins at the 3 (potentially) and Carter-Williams at the point. I also love the idea Hinkie gets to keep all of his highly coveted 1st round draft picks and maintains a solid amount of cap space while acquiring a superstar caliber player. That’s a hoops tri-fecta.
However, I still don’t make this trade. Here’s why….
A colleague of mine is an NBA agent with a client that played on the Magic during Howard’s final year in Orlando. This respected agent has told me more than a few the jaw dropping stories about Howard’s childish behavior in Orlando. What I have learned from these stories is that Dwight’s is all about Dwight. Basically he’s a basketball diva of the worst kind.
For me his drama filled stint with the Lakers only provided more evidence of Howard’s diva-ish behavior. Than there’s also the rumored confrontation between Greg Popovich and Howard at the 2013 NBA All-Game in which Pop allegedly cursed at Howard and basically told D12 to grow up.
When his disappointing time in LA is over and Howard finally hit the open market a number of NBA personnel executives I talked with at the time simply stated that they had or would have NO interest in signing Howard because they didn’t want to deal with his bullshit.
Like Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh in Bull Durham, Howard has all the skill in the world, but a 5 cent head…and that’s why I don’t Hinkie to trade for him.
Steve Toll is a scribe for Philadunkia. You can follow him on Twitter @BasementGM.
Michael Kaskey-Blomain is a scribe for Philadunkia. You can follow him on Twitter @therealmikeKB.
You can follow us on Twitter @philadunkia.