The New Jersey Nets are about to move to Brooklyn. They have a stud point guard, one gazillionaire owner, and one owner that is among the most famous entertainers in the world. But they want one more thing to add to their collection of splash moves: Dwight Howard.
The New Jersey Nets are prepared to offer a trade package featuring Brook Lopez and two future first-round picks to acquire Dwight Howard before the Orlando Magic center becomes a free agent in July 2012, according to sources close to the situation.
Sources told ESPN.com this week that, to sweeten the proposal, New Jersey would likewise offer to take back the contract of Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu, who has three seasons left on his contract worth just under $35 million. Absorbing Turkoglu's remaining salary would become financially feasible for the Nets after the expected release of swingman Travis Outlaw through the amnesty clause that will be included in the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement and by including another smaller contract or two in the deal.
I'm going to file this under interesting, but not likely.
At first blush, you look at Lopez and think he's one of few fairly viable replacements for Howard. But Lopez likes to face up a little too much. Dwight has a career FG% of 57.8. Lopez is at 50.4. So you're actually losing something offensively. Worse, Lopez's career rebounding percentage is 13.0 compared to Dwight's 20.9. That would explain why Dwight gets more then five rebounds per game.
You can't even count on free throws being the one place where Lopez has an advantage over Howard. Lopez, while a career 80% free throw shooter, gets about four points a game from the free throw line (out of about five shots). Howard scores 5.4 points a game from the line. So his aggression around the hoop leads to more points from the line even with a low FT%. Lopez, however, is not as strong down low, so he draws fewer fouls. It leads to fewer points per game, and fewer fouls on the other team, which could put them in the penalty sooner and give your good free throw shooters a chance to pile up some easy points.
However, you can't discount, from Orlando's perspective, the Nets' willingness to take on Hedo Turkoglu's deal. That has to be one attractive aspect to the offer. Though you would think that Orlando could just tell any potential suitor "you take Turkoglu's deal, or you get nothing."
In the end, New Jersey's package doesn't seem enticing enough to make Orlando seriously consider it. Unless a third team gets involved and gives Orlando more than Brook Lopez as the only actual player in return for Dwight, then this deal will probably go nowhere. Lopez is good, but he's not great. And Dwight's not great, he's a superstar. And a good-player plus a couple of picks for a superstar doesn't fly, no matter what the financial system. You need multiple good players and then some picks just to get in the door. Plus, I'm sure Orlando would love to send Dwight as far away as possible so they don't have to see him more than once or twice a year.
Orlando could do worse than this as the initial framework of a deal, but it can also certainly do better.
|Like CC on Facebook||Follow CC on Twitter|