So here it goes...
Maybe I need a flowchart to understand this so bare with me. Observations. True or false?
1. Supposedly, the Net are Howard's first, if not only choice, and he wants to be traded there. But Howard has not publicly clearly said NETS to my understanding.
2. Nets want him also ....in order to pair him with Deron.
3. If traded to Nets, it seems 99% certain Dwill and Howard would opt out in offseason and resign with Nets for max deals.
4. Problem is Magic don't seem to like Nets offer; they seem to prefer (Lakers offer) Bynum to Lopez.
5. But Howard can refuse to void his opt out thus discouraging Lakers from giving up Bynum for fear that Howard would be a mere rental; thus Howard controls where he ultimately goes (though he may have to take an NBA paycut which he would have to make up in corporate sponsorships in a financial worst case scenario for him.)
6. Lakers and Nets seem to be 2 biggest players. If Howard stays with Orlando after trade deadline, he could resign with them, or more likely just join the Nets in FA, in which case Nets didn't have to give up substantial assets to get him since they would have ample cap space as well. But some people think in such a scenario he could also join Dallas, though it is not easy to see how Mavs would clear cap space for both Howard and Williams. Nets have cap space to get Howard if he becomes free agent with another team, but in that event their chances go down from about 99% to maybe 40-60%., compared to if he and DWill became free agents with NJ. If Howard reaches free agency with someone other than Lakers, it's hard to see how he could become a Laker because they are packed with salary for up to 3 years.
7. Dallas would have to amnesty Heyward, and trade a 35 year old making nearly 20 million over the next 2 years without taking on salary (and the team on the receiving end would know whhat they would be facilitating.)
8. Dallas does not have assets to compete with trade deadline offers from likes of Lakers and Mavs.
9. Financially, it makes sense for Howard and Dwill to opt out in the offseason regardless of where they are or where they want to go, because opting out and singing another contract is where the money is. Neither will sign an extension during the season (with anyone) because it doesn't make sense to (Thanks CBA.)
10. So it looks like Dwill and Howard will ultimately call the shots. Giant game of chicken, but the Magic and Nets seem to have the most to lose.
11. Though Nets are the favorites to land Howard, if some how Lakers get Howard in a trade (even as a rental, Bynum is UFA in 1 year anyhow), Nets get nervous that Deron will leave.
12. Then pressure will be on Nets to possibly trade Deron. Do they trade him to Lakers for Gasol? To Celtics for Rondo and JO? To someone else perhaps? Or do they risk it and hold on to Dwill? He says 90% chance he stays in NJ anyway. Would DWill void his opt out like CP3, if traded??
13. Is this a giant game of chicken between Howard, DWill, Nets, Magic, Lakers, Mavs, and the rest of the league?
14. Will Howard come out and publicly say where he wants to play before trade deadline? or will he be secretive like Heat's Big 3?
15. How will this affect Celtics? It seems likely that the rest of the league may wait to see how the Howard fiasco dust settles before making big trade moves.
16. Cetlics are set to blow in the offseason anyhow, so Ainge may wait for other teams to make moves before imploding Big 3.
17. If Ainge gets lowballed on offers for Big 3, does he decide to give the Big 3 one last shot this year, even from the position of a #8 playoff seed?
18. Free agent market is weak this year outside of Howard and DWill. There's Nash, Gordon, Hibbert, Lopez, and Mayo. But everyone except the Grizzlies has capspace to match offer sheets for RFA's . Nets, Suns, Wizards, Cavs, Pacers, Celtics, and Rockets are good in terms of the cap. So are the Hornets.
19. Celtics have Rondo locked in at 3.5 years. Possibly best contract in the league. Pierce salary for 2 more years, but if he goes into steep decline, he can be amnestied in offseason. C's have about as many draft picks as anyone else.
20 Cap could go way up in offseason because of Lakers TV deal. 2 years until draconian REPEAT TAX OFFENDER penalty kicks in. LA could be in trouble? Do they amnesty Artest? Or save it in case Bryant or Gasol turn way south?
Trying to wrap my head around this. It could be fun to watch. Comments.