NBA Trade Rumors: Dwight Howard Rental Worth the Risk for Knicks
CSNNE reporter Donny Marshall reported that the Knicks are thinking about acquiring Howard as a rental in a swap for Amare Stoudemire.
Howard would make the Knicks a legitimate NBA championship contender, but is giving up Stoudemire a smart move when Howard can opt put of his contract and become a free agent in the summer, leaving New York with a giant hole in its lineup?
Yes, it’s a smart move. When you have the chance to trade for the best center the NBA has seen since Shaquille O’Neal in his prime, you do it.
The Knicks aren’t going to win a championship with Carmelo Anthony, Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler in the front court. Chandler has not fit in well, and neither Stoudemire nor Anthony play much defense.
Stoudemire and Anthony have not meshed well with the Knicks, and it’s because their styles of play don’t fit.
Stoudemire is a versatile power forward who likes to be on the perimeter and take mid-range shots and even three-pointers on occasion. Anthony is a an elite scorer and needs the perimeter to be open so he can drive to the basket.
Stoudemire is not a real big man who is going to post up most of the time and dominate the paint on offense.
For Anthony to be most effective, he needs a real center down low, which is exactly what Howard is. Anthony will be free to drive to the basket, and when defenses collapse on him, he can just dish it to Howard for an easy slam dunk.
Howard is the only player in the NBA that can dominate at both ends of the floor every night. He is a franchise player that you can build your team around for a decade.
The worry of Howard staying in New York is certainly a concern, because they are not among the team’s he would be willing to sign an extension with (Lakers, Nets, Mavericks, Magic). However, playing on the New York stage would be a perfect fit for Howard, whose charismatic personality and love for the spotlight would allow him to not be fazed by the immense pressure brought on by fans and the media.
Look back at the greatest teams in NBA history, all of them except Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls had elite centers. That is the most important position in basketball, and to win consistently, you have to make sure your center is a quality player.
Howard and Anthony would be a perfect combination, and their success would help Howard stay in New York long-term.
The last two Knicks teams to reach the NBA Finals had a Hall of Fame center, and the franchise won’t return to that level again without another one.
When you can acquire the most dominating center in basketball in an era of the NBA where they are a rare breed, you do it.
Nicholas Goss is an NBA Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report.
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