The Denver Nuggets are enjoying success since trading Carmelo Anthony. Last season's melodrama created around Anthony's questionable future with the team that drafted him put fans, teammates and the Nuggets’ front office in an awkward space.
The Orlando Magic are now facing a similar situation.
The organization is at a crossroads in the wake of Dwight Howard's trade request. There aren't many NBA franchises that can say they lost the best center of two consecutive generations. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find that dynamic in all of professional sports.
It's a tough time in Orlando.
Scattered boos can be heard when Howard is introduced. The team hasn't played well as of late. And Otis Smith, general manager of the Magic, reportedly isn't having any luck finding a trade partner to help him add a piece to his struggling team to improve his chances of retaining Howard.
The Magic woes of the Magic, however, are other team’s gains, specifically the New Jersey Nets.
Named as one of the teams on Howard's list, sources say the Nets are the only team Howard is truly interested in. The idea of playing with Deron Williams and helping the Nets move to Brooklyn are appealing to Howard. Depending on who you speak to, it's only a matter of time before Howard is scoring easy baskets created by Williams and enjoying Junior's cheesecake, a staple of Brooklyn. The Nets seemingly can't lose unless they make a major misstep in the next few months, which is why they shouldn’t make a single move until the summer.
The Nets would be foolish to make a trade for Howard right now.
Why would Nets general manager Billy King give up pieces for a player that is seemingly prepared to walk to him in the summer?
Why give up assets that can be used to strengthen a team built around Williams and Howard, a one-two punch that could potentially join the likes of Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as one of the best point guard/center combos in the history of the game? The idea may sound far-fetched, but getting these two superstars in the prime of their careers will make for an interesting future.
Here's the reality: GMs often gut their team in trades because they refuse to be patient and let things play out. King has the chance to do things the right way and if he does, he's going to find that the Brooklyn Nets will have an immediate shot at a championship.
The Nets will still have Brook Lopez, who can be traded for a piece to play alongside Williams and Howard.
The Nets will have a lottery pick, no doubt, because they're a horrible team right now.
The Nets will have free agents like Jamal Crawford, J.R. Smith, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Andrei Kirilenko that would surely love to play with their All-Star core of Howard and Williams.
They will have Brooklyn and all of the things that come with playing in New York City.
There are just so many positives about the potential of the situation that I can go on about. But they have to be patient. There's no need for them to make a move now and bring Howard into a situation that can't be turned around this season.
The Nets aren't a playoff team. Even if they add Howard now, he'll need time to learn the system, coaches and his new teammates. It's just not a situation that speaks to immediate success. Waiting makes more sense.
It's important that the Nets learn from the Knicks.
Thinking about the Knicks' situation, they would have had Carmelo Anthony if they waited. Then, they would have been able to use the pieces they gave up for him to fill the holes that are currently killing them. The Nets don't have great pieces anyway and a trade that gets them a player of Howard's caliber for Lopez, or anything around Lopez, is a robbery, especially when the player you want seems to share your interest.
The Nets will be in a similar boat if they get impatient, but will leap them if they wait for the summer.