Before we begin, let’s all take a deep breath.
From Sam Amick of SI.com:
Orlando PR man Joel Glass calls to inform that D. Howard’s agent now has permission to speak w/ Lakers, Nets, & Mavs about possible trade.
Stop. Right. There.
Stop daydreaming over the thought of Dirk Nowitzki being paired with a frontcourt partner even more productive than he is. Erase the thought that the Tyson Chandler free agent saga — while unfortunate in its own way — could ultimately give way to the greatest era of Mavericks basketball yet. Toss away the notion that the Mavs are currently in legitimate running to net another superstar, be it Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, or Deron Williams.
The trade logic just doesn’t work out. It’s nice that Howard likely considers Dallas among his preferred destinations, but interest alone won’t manufacture a trade out of thin air. It won’t produce a trade package on par with what L.A. (Andrew Bynum) or New Jersey (Brook Lopez) could offer, and it won’t make Magic GM Otis Smith suddenly infatuated with the Mavericks’ underwhelming trade chips. Dallas just doesn’t have the assets on hand to make any kind of blockbuster deal, and that’s as true today as it was yesterday.
EDIT: It’s true that as a result of the likely sign-and-trade of Tyson Chandler (per Marc Stein of ESPN.com), the Mavs will acquire a pretty substantial traded player exception (TPE). However, that in itself is not an asset — it’s a facilitator. It widens the range of a possible deal, but it does not actually enhance the deal itself. It could help Dallas absorb Hedo Turkoglu’s massive contract, but it doesn’t actually provide Orlando any assets with which to rebuild. The Mavs are not unique in their ability to soak up Turkoglu’s deal, and TPE or no, they’re still forced to build a deal for one of the best players in the league on the back of Rodrigue Beaubois.