Shoot for It: With Alex Lee ’16 and John Beneville ’16

by John Beneville and Alex Lee | 2/17/16 6:30pm

First off, John and I would like to extend our best wishes to Chris Bosh, who currently may be facing another life threatening blood clot injury. Bosh, who is a two-time champion and an 11-time All Star, has been a class act since entering the NBA, and we hope that he will be back to health soon.

Thursday’s Feb. 18 trade deadline looms, and there has been significant speculation of a blockbuster dealing occurring. Due to the Golden State Warriors’ unprecedented success, some of the better teams in the league realize that a trade needs to happen in order to contend with the defending champions.

Some of the notable names include Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Carmelo Anthony, Al Horford, Hassan Whiteside and Markieff Morris.

Today, we discuss who is most likely to be involved in a blockbuster trade on Thursday.

Alex’s Take:

Dwight Howard is going to be traded on Thursday. I know that every trade season the name “Dwight Howard” seems to inevitably associated with the word “trade,” but this time it’s legit.

The past few weeks, there have been rumblings of the Houston Rockets potentially moving Howard. He has been the centerpiece of numerous trade rumors including deals for Whiteside or Jeff Teague and Al Horford. There have always been some rumors about the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks.

Howard has an early opt-out option which he can utilize at this season’s end, and I (apparently also the Rockets’ front office) fully expect him to exercise it if not traded. The salary cap is set to explode this offseason, and it makes all the financial sense in the world for Howard to get paid one last time via free agency.

Moreover, Dwight has expressed some discontent with his role on the Rockets. James Harden and Ty Lawson are two ball dominant guards who play lots of isolation-style basketball. Howard has never been known for having the best temperament, and his body language and facial expression tell the entire story when he is not passed the ball on the block.

He expressed a similar sentiment before he left the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer of 2013, and I expect the Rockets to move him before he leaves them.

The biggest issue is his $22.4 million contract, but GMs have found plenty of ways to make it work. I expect that at least one team will find a solution.

Ultimately, Howard is still a premiere center in the league, and any team who trades for him will immediately improve. There are significant incentives by all parties involved in these trade rumors to take, thus I expect Howard to don a new jersey on Thursday.

John’s Take:

Howard being on the trading block is probably the least surprising thing in the entire world. We’ve written about him before, so I won’t elaborate too much on how this “superstar” center is underrated, has a poor work ethic, fails to gel well with teammates, lacks a competitive spirit, etc. Howard will most likely be traded both because it makes financial sense and because he has told the Rockets he’s not happy.

Some of the other names on the list are more interesting. Take Kevin Love for example. I actually don’t believe that Love will be traded, mainly because David Blatt, the coach that he didn’t get along with, has already been forced out. Additionally, Love is probably the Cleveland Cavaliers’ only hope for any semblance of success in the playoffs. I don’t like the guy. I think many teams are similarly wary of his personality, and so the best spot for him the rest of the year will be Cleveland.

Carmelo Anthony is another player that could be traded, and there’s been buzz around the league that he could be exchanged for Love. I don’t think Love will be traded, nor do I think Carmelo Anthony will be traded. He has a similar stigma about him that makes teams think twice before signing him. On the New York Knicks, he has dominated the offensive side of the ball and hurt ball movement and team basketball. On the defensive side, Anthony has always been known as a lackluster defender that exerts very little effort.

I don’t think we’ll see very many surprises this week, but a team like the Knicks could decide to jump ship and finally end Anthony’s reign in New York.