NBA Trade Deadline: Al Horford and Kyle Korver for Dwight Howard?

Jan 27, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith (8) drives around Atlanta Hawks small forward Kyle Korver (26) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 106-104. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Say whaaaaat?

Jalen Rose wrote an article today on trades he wants to see happen before the deadline. His number one? Al Horford and Kyle Korver for Dwight Howard. His suggestion was interesting to say the least. Let’s go in depth on each part of the trade.

Atlanta Hawks Receiving Dwight Howard

There have been rumors floating around ever since Joe Johnson was traded to the Brooklyn Nets last June that Danny Ferry and the Hawks are going to make a push toward signing Dwight Howard in the offseason. Dwight Howard – as we all well know by now – grew up in Atlanta and played AAU ball with Josh Smith. He has stated before that he has no interest in coming home and suiting up for the Hawks, but perhaps Josh and his other pal, Anthony Morrow, can persuade him to join the club. However, because that free agent scenario isn’t a lock, it could be smart to trade for Dwight and hope he sticks around after the offseason. The Hawks would be receiving a franchise player, media personality, and well-known drama queen (sorry, I had to mention it) in Howard and he could potentially form a more than solid core with Smoove (assuming he stays with his BFF), Jeff Teague, and (YES!) John Jenkins. His drama/injury-plagued season in LA has hurt his image, but an offseason to rest and a return home could be what he needs to push rewind on his career remote and move back to his dominant days as a centerpiece for the Orlando Magic.

Los Angeles Lakers Receiving Al Horford and Kyle Korver

This would be a big blow for both the fans and the team. Al Horford AKA Lil Tito AKA Double-Double Machine and Kyle Korver are valuable pieces of the Hawks roster, both this year and going forward (assuming Korver would stay in the ATL as a free agent). If I were a Laker fan I would be super excited if this offer actually was on the table. As Jalen Rose wrote, “Okay, a man can dream, right?” Lakerland would fit in Horford at the 4 and Pau Gasol can move up to the 5, a more fitting position for his size and skill set. I have been waiting for the Hawks to acquire a solid center to move Horford down to the 4 for a while now. His frame his more suited for that spot and he could use his height as an advantage over the undersized power forwards that seem to be taking over the position. With Korver, the Lakers would get a great shooter. What else is there to say about the guy who has the Hawks franchise record for most consecutive games with a three pointer?

ESPN Trade Machine Projections

After plugging this trade in to ESPN’s trade machine, it doesn’t look great for the Hawks. Atlanta’s projected win total drops by 3, while LA’s is given a 1 point boost. If we plug in Devin Harris or Anthony Morrow instead of Korver, the Hawks’ projected win total goes up from -3 to -1 with Harris and there is no change to the total with Morrow going to LA. Unfortunately, his résumé isn’t as established as Korver’s, so including him in a blockbuster trade like this one doesn’t add up for the Lakers.

If this trade were to be pulled off, I would be slow to get overly excited. I believe that the outlook for the Hawks would be better if Korver wasn’t dealt. On the contrary, any move that brings Dwight Howard to Atlanta has to be looked at as a good one. Just picture a starting lineup of Teague, Jenkins (?), (insert veteran/draft pick here), Smoove, and Howard. I’d have a blast watching those games.

Dwight Howard has shown that he can lead a team to the Finals. If this trade were to happen or if he came during free agency, maybe he can do it again.

Topics: Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks, Dwight Howard, Kyle Korver

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