As they are the two guys left in the game of “franchise player musical chairs,” it is kind of logical Deron Williams and Dwight Howard could end up on the same team. That is certainly what New Jersey has banked its Brooklyn opening on.
But what about Dallas? Mark Cuban has all but sacrificed a shot at a repeat on the alter of cap space for next summer to go get a new franchise player.
Tracy McGrady told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo he can see not just one but two stars landing in Dallas. He can’t see Howard staying in Orlando.
“I’ve been watching Orlando play, and I think they let it go too far – to where they can’t compete for a championship,” McGrady said. “Dwight’s going to find a sweeter spot for him next year with him being a free agent, with D-Will being a free agent, and Dallas already having an established star there. … Yup, Dallas.”
And then he laughed and said, “You heard it from me first.”
If Howard doesn’t come to the Nets Williams is all but gone next summer and that means….
Hold on, Mavs fans. Reality intervenes here and pretty much blows this up.
Dallas will have cap space with Jason Terry and Jason Kidd coming off the books plus a buyout of Lamar Odom’s final year possible. But they will only have enough cap space for one max (or near max) deal, not two. The only way they can sign two players near the max is to amnesty Brandan Haywood and find someone to take on the final two years, $18 million of Shawn Marion’s contract. Good luck with that.
D-Will is a Dallas native, there is some logic there if he wants to go home again. Howard is the bigger (literally and figuratively) prize here, the better player in the long term to build around. But Orlando will eventually have to trade Howard (near the March 15 deadline) or risk losing him for nothing. And Dallas doesn’t really have the trade assets unless Marion and Terry sound like the kind of veterans Orlando is seeking.
I don’t want to bet against Cuban, but it’s hard to see him drawing a pair this summer.