ORLANDO, Fla. (CBSMiami) – The Orlando Magic has the biggest trade asset in the NBA in center Dwight Howard. But to acquire him, it’s going to cost a lot in both talent and money, and it may not happen anytime soon.
According to Yahoo! Sports, Howard said that he doesn’t expect to be traded before the February 26th All-Star Game in Orlando.
Howard even believes that he won’t be traded by the March 15th trading deadline either.
But, with Howard set to leave the team at the end of the season as an unrestricted free agent; it would be wise for the Magic to trade him before the deadline and get something in return for the NBA’s best pure center.
That may be difficult with Howard only willing to sign with a few teams long-term. Howard has permission to speak with the Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the New Jersey Nets.
The Nets were willing to give up a slew of draft picks and Brook Lopez to the Magic in return for Howard.
Lopez has been injured, which has been a likely factor in the Magic not pulling the trigger on such a deal.
The Mavericks have cleared up plenty of cap space in the offseason in hopes of landing at least Howard this year.
But, Dallas doesn’t have many tradable players to entice the Magic to make a deal.
Finally, the Lakers would be an obvious destination for a player that wants to be treated as another Shaquille O’Neal.
The problem for Howard is that the Lakers have a quality center and power forward combination in Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.
The other factor weighing on a Howard trade will be Hedo Turkoglu’s albatross of a contract.
The Magic want a new team to take on the contract in exchange for the Howard trade. So far, no one has been willing to take on the remainder of the contract.