Much like Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and virtually any other superstar who ever switched teams or thought about switching teams, Chicago Bulls fans are now dreaming about Dwight Howard.
Much like the previously listed stars, there's a good chance that Dwight Howard leaves his team (among that group of guys rumored to potentially leave only Kobe and Wade stayed).
The writing is on the wall. When Magic ownership says they've already offered Dwight extensions, and Dwight responds that they can't legally offer him anything, nor has anything been offered, you can tell that things aren't going to end well. Dwight doesn't want to deal with the fact he hasn't signed an extension, so he's pretending one doesn't exist.
If you're a Magic fan, that's not good news. If you're a fan of any other team, then the news is pretty good.
Is Chicago in the running?
Chicago seems like a natural destination for Dwight. Derrick Rose and Howard know each other through Adidas, Dwight has referred to Rose as his little brother. They seem reasonably close, at least as close as Rose is to any star.
Chicago also has a large market which is likely appealing to Howard as it is to most star players, and of course, Chicago has a great chance to win a title.
However, Howard has said he wants to be the man wherever he goes. That's not going to happen in Chicago, especially with Rose hailing from the windy city. He's also expressed a desire to stay in a warm climate.
Ric Bucher recently noted that Dwight's top choices presently were Orlando, Dallas, NJ, and LA (may have the order wrong, but Chicago was not mentioned).
How would a Dwight Howard trade work
Let's ignore whether Chicago is in the running for a moment and examine the dynamics of a Dwight Howard trade.
First, Orlando has to decide that they'll consider trading Dwight. I'll tell you this, there is a 0% chance of this happening prior to the new CBA. One of the things owners are going to push for is a franchise tag.
A franchise tag might give Orlando leverage to keep Howard for a couple more seasons, and so there's a chance Howard won't leave in the near future. Also, there may not be the same type of deal in 2012 like there is in 2010 where a bevy of attractive destinations have open cap room.
Chicago is capped out, New York is capped out, the Lakers are capped out. Dwight Howard may not have quite the attractive destinations to choose from, and Orlando may simply say "hey go find somewhere better than here", and Dwight may come back.
However, if Dwight does apply enough pressure, takes some negative publicity, and demands out, then he'll likely pick his destination, or at least limit it to one of a few teams. Thus, if Howard wants to leave, odds are his list of preferences will be important.
Let's say Dwight wants Chicago and Orlando is willing
Given what we presently know, that Orlando says they won't trade Dwight no matter what and would rather lose him for nothing, and that Dwight doesn't have Chicago on his list presently (at least from the rumor mill), the odds of these two things happening don't look particularly promising, but if....
Either trade gives the Magic some pretty good players and dumps one bad contract onto Chicago. Granted, the Bulls would be dumping Boozer back for Arenas, but there is no way to match salaries otherwise.
Is it worth it?
Heck yes. I love Joakim and Deng, and it's possible this trade might set you back for a season, much like the Knicks are temporarily set back by trading a bunch of medium level players for Anthony, but at the end of the day, it's easier to find some more average to good players than it is to find the best center and a top 5 player in the NBA.
Should we dream bout this all summer?
Look, if there's any chance of it happening, the Bulls will make it happen. However, there likely is no chance that it's going to happen. We don't need to call up Gar and tell him to work the phones. No need to call Bulls management stupid for not making it happen.
If it has a chance, it will be explored and everything possible will be done to make it go.
Sadly, that doesn't mean it has a chance. Until there's at least a rumor that Orlando will consider offers, or Dwight is interested in Chicago, there simply is no reason to think this has a chance.