Nets

NBA Analysis: Do Nets Really Want Magic's Dwight Howard?

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By  Mihnea "Mike" Gheorghita

It’s almost that time of the year when GM’s make either fantastic decisions or career-ending mistakes.

Summertime is close enough to feel the pressure, and the 2011 FA class is a dream come true for most teams. The blogosphere is full of suggestions such as Caron Butler for the Nets, Kirilenko as R.J.’s back-up for the Spurs, and so on. The real treat comes in 2012, the Nets’ move-away year, with Dwight Howard’s turn to test the market. I’m going to leave Chris Paul out of this, as the Nets will be looking to keep Deron.

There have been enough rumors around that Dwight Howard plans to pull a “Shaq” on Orlando and go for the gold and purple come 2012. So why am I writing this then? Because there’s still a belief floating over the Nets Nation that The Prok, Avery and Billy King are keen on Dwight wearing Brooklyn colors next year.

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No they’re not. Although Brook was a nice guy and said that he’d be more than happy to play as Howard’s back-up, the Nets’ officials know they’ll do just fine without him. What they really need to do is bring in an NBA top 10 SF, or overall improve the wings.

I’m sure you’ve seen this just about everywhere, but I can’t lay down this issue without giving you the official stats. You’ll notice that both of them had similar developing patterns, with Howard getting more boards (hello there, Kris Humphries!) and Brook more points (he’s twp points short of Howard’s PPG, but it only took him 3 years to get there).  Hell, each of them has played at least 95% of all the games their team played since the start of their career.

Brook Lopez:

2008–09

New Jersey

82

75

30.5

.531

.000

.793

8.1

1.0

.5

1.8

13.0

2009–10

New Jersey

82

82

36.9

.499

.000

.817

8.6

2.3

.7

1.7

18.8

2010–11

New Jersey

82

82

35.2

.492

.000

.787

6.0

1.6

.6

1.5

20.4

 

Dwight Howard (first three years in NBA):

2004–05

Orlando

82

82

32.6

.520

.000

.671

10.0

.9

.9

1.7

12.0

2005–06

Orlando

82

81

36.8

.531

.000

.595

12.5

1.5

.8

1.4

15.8

2006–07

Orlando

82

82

36.9

.603

.500

.586

12.3

1.9

.9

1.9

17.6

 

There’s no doubt that overall Dwight is the more desirable player, but that’s just because Avery Johnson got everyone obsessed with the fact that Brook isn’t keen on rebounding. The stats say some part of the story, but you’d actually have to see Lopez play in order to understand how close to each other the two players are. Bringing in Howard will not only stop both his and Brook’s development, it will put the Nets under pressure, as they’d have to rely on either a pretty bad trade (Farmar, Petro?) or a Christmas miracle draft pick in order to improve the wings. And we all know Saint Nick’s pretty far away this time of year.

It will be a fun few months to watch, as Nets fans forget the “Melo-Drama” and get ready for the “Dwight Fight”. Let’s just hope B-King and Prokhorov understand that some players you just don’t trade for the sake of bringing an All-Star jersey around. Let Brook Lopez reach his peak in the 2011-2012 season, and focus on what really matters: building around Deron Williams.

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