I've often seen this quote made about potentially trading for Dwight Howard, and I ask, is it really true? Would you give up anything the Bulls had outside of Derrick Rose to land Dwight Howard?
Bulls 2012 draft pick
Bulls 2014 draft pick
Bulls 2016 draft pick
Bulls pick owned by Charlotte
Everyone else needs to be added via the MLE (if it exists still) or the veteran minimum.
You still in? I don't think I'm in anymore.
Which means at some point, we're drawing the line by saying "You know what Taj Gibson, we just can't throw him in" or "That 2016 draft pick from the Bulls just pushes it over the top".
Assuming you are also not in on this trade, the interesting part of the discussion then becomes what would you really give up for Dwight Howard? First, push comes to shove, I'd still give up all of the non playing assets. [Mirotic and the four draft picks].
You need to keep two of your four front court pieces as well, and one of them needs to be one of the low end contract guys. We'll assume that leaves us Boozer and Omer, but it could be Boozer and Taj that we keep as well.
Chicago's new front court then looks like:
Howard, Boozer, Taj or Omer
To make the trade work under the salary cap, the Bulls can't take both Hedo and Arenas if they keep Boozer, so one of them gets pulled out of the deal, and the Bulls eat the other contract. We'll assume that we're eating Arenas, because his contract is far worse.
Different pieces need to be added in order to make the deal work financially at this point.
Final trade? Orlando sends:
Dwight Howard, Gilbert Arenas
Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, C.J. Watson, one of Taj or Omer, Ronnie Brewer, a stash of 1st round picks, the rights to Nikola Mirotic
When actually trying to figure out what is legal under the salary cap, I think this is actually the most I'd give up for Dwight Howard [new CBA could change what we could legally do here, or change significantly what we'd be willing to do of course].
PG: Derrick Rose, Gilbert Arenas
SG: Kieth Bogans,
SF: Kyle Korver, Jimmy Butler
PF: Carlos Boozer, Taj
C: Dwight Howard
Possibly, Omer could be there instead of Taj depending on Orlando's preference. The Bulls have basically no draft picks in the future either, and will be counting on signing ring chasers to fill in the gaps, but I think they'll have little trouble finding a ring chaser or two to play SG and SF which are the easiest positions to fill in the NBA.
Now when I look at this deal from Orlando's perspective, it's not so bad if Dwight Howard leaves, but there's certainly nothing great about it. You're not saving a ton of money, because you're taking back a lot of long term salary. You are loading up on draft picks, and one of the draft picks might actually be worthwhile since it's based on Charlotte's performance instead of Chicago's.
Still, it's a deal that certainly doesn't wow you as a Magic a fan. The team left is probably a low rung playoff team in the East and after competing for titles with Howard, it's likely not enough to sway fan interest a whole heck of a lot.
At any rate, the point is, as a Bulls fan, it really isn't "anything for Dwight" even if we like to say it is, and I'd wager that Bulls management isn't going to throw in four first rounders and Nikola Mirotic either. At some point, there are limits. Even for Dwight Howard.