LeBron for Dwight Howard: Does Jeff Van Gundy's Trade Make Sense?

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LeBron for Dwight Howard: Does Jeff Van Gundy's Trade Make Sense?

Following the Dallas Maverick's Game 6 victory over the Miami Heat, ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy suggested that perhaps the Heat should consider trading either LeBron James or Dwyane Wade.

Somewhat shocked at this statement, my older brother quickly reminded me that this came from the same man who predicted that the Heat would break the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls' 72-10 regular season win record.

Van Gundy seemed to base his argument that LeBron and Wade don't compliment each other very well and that they would be more balanced looking to acquire a big man.

Who was the big man Van Gundy had in mind?

Orlando's very own Dwight Howard.

Dwight Howard is one of the few superstars (perhaps the only one) who would provide fair value for LeBron James. Howard has also recently stated that he would not sign an extension and will become a free agent next summer. Even though Howard has repeatedly said that he would like to remain in Orlando his entire career, he has also said that winning a championship is his number one priority.

There is no substance to Van Gundy's comment. Neither Orlando general manager Otis Smith, nor Miami general manger Pat Riley have made any speculation whatsoever to suggest that they are even interested in swapping the two superstars.

Would trading LeBron James for Dwight Howard make Miami a better team?

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Even though the salaries of LeBron James and Dwight Howard match up close enough for a straight player-for-player trade, its much more likely that one or two additional players would be involved.

Trading Dwight Howard would leave Orlando with a huge hole at the center position. This wouldn't be nearly as big an issue for Orlando if they hadn't traded their backup center, Marcin Gortat, before the trade deadline this past year.

If a trade were to happen, Orlando would most likely request a center in return. The only center of significance that Miami could offer would be starter Joel Anthony. While Orlando fans would love to see Udonis Haslem come over with James, that would be unlikely due to his contract and Miami's reluctance to part with another player capable of playing a large amount of minutes.

From Miami's standpoint, point guard play was constantly under fire. While parting with a great talent like LeBron James wouldn't hurt any team, Miami does have some solid depth on the wing.

The departure of James would mean more minutes for both Mike Miller and James Jones. Chris Duhon is a player who received significant playing time over the years (with Chicago and New York) that could provide a calming presence for Miami in the locker room, as well as 10-15 minutes per game on the court.

I imagine this trade boiling down to James/Anthony for Howard/Duhon. Howard would give Miami some more balance and James would ensure that Orlando doesn't let Howard walk away for nothing (see Cleveland Cavilers).

As I said earlier, there has yet to be any legitimacy whatsoever of this trade. It is however intriguing to breakdown and think about.

Does this trade give Miami a better chance of winning a championship?

What would be LeBron's reaction?

Would Orlando be able to put the right pieces around LeBron, something they have failed to do with Howard?

What impact would this trade have on the draft?

Let me know what you think about this potential blockbuster.

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