Trade talk gives NBA welcome buzz

Will the Orlando Magic trade Dwight Howard? Will the New Orleans Hornets deal Chris Paul? Who cares? It's fun just to talk about the possibilities with the NBA lockout over.

Two important thoughts on the talk that Dwight Howard could soon join the Los Angeles Clippers or New Jersey Nets and Chris Paul could somehow trade places with Rajon Rondo and spearhead the Boston Celtics' fading, but real shot at a championship.

1. There is probably very little chance either of these trades will happen any time soon. The Orlando Magic and New Orleans Hornets, for various reasons, aren’t dishing the faces of their franchises right now. Too soon. Not going to happen.

2. Who cares? Maybe it’s fleeting to flaunt the fun behind dreaming of where these guys are going to go, maybe it’s unrealistic, maybe the drama has no depth. Regardless, this sure beats studying the turn of every screw between billionaires and millionaires squabbling over how to split the cash.

Who are the Miami Heat going to sign to help LeBron James in his quest to live up to his immense talent by relying on the talent of others? To whom will the Chicago Bulls turn in order to give young gun Derrick Rose enough support to see whether his MVP season is a sign of things to come or the over-hyped happening many believe?

What would Superman look like flying side by side with Kobe or Deron Williams or Blake Griffin? How unstoppable would CP3 be doing his thing with Melo and Amar'e or Boston’s Big Three? How far could one key free agent take Oklahoma City, Miami or Chicago?

Pondering the possibilities is almost as fun as actually finding out the answers. Dwelling on deals that may or may not happen beats the hell out of dwelling on whether David Stern and Billy Hunter get their respective, rich, stubborn, out-of-touch sides to agree to stop being so annoying.

Thank you, NBA, for, among others things, getting your stuff together and taking away one more narrative about rich people worried they’re not rich enough. Thank you for replacing it with storylines that actually fit a sports fan’s life and interests. Thank you for trading months of obtuseness with a few weeks of happy thoughts about what may or may not be, one of those things that make being alive a whole lot of fun.

Look, David and Billy, fans get that this is a business. We’re not idiots. We know why the lockout cost us two months of basketball. We know the dollars do the talking. We’re also fans — the people who plop down the money you’re arguing over, the folks who do, in fact, make you relevant.

We’re the people who want to focus on the fun the league has to offer, especially now that it’s nearing another zenith, rather than your in-house hand-wringing over basketball-related income.

The same goes to NBA writers telling us to stop talking about the could-be scenarios out there because sources close to the situation say it’s not going to happen and, so, we should all just shut up. Let us bask in the beauty of daydreaming. After months of lockout, we deserve it.

So here goes:

• Go to New Jersey, big guy. Brooklyn’s only a year away, Dwight. The idea of you and Deron Williams, who then might just agree to an extension to keep this fantasy happening, is too good to pass up. Even beats the idea of Superman flapping his cape with Blake Griffin or an aging, but still dangerous Kobe. The Lakers get enough of the good stuff already, and Griffin is as awesome to watch as his owner is stomach-churning. Plus, Griffin’s so good and promising, someone is going to want to be a Clipper.

But a dynamic duo working for a billionaire Russian hotshot who together might turn New York into a two-team basketball city bursting with stars and possibilities? It’s like the Big Three minus the preseason championship celebration. It’s the kind of monopoly a guy outside the fan base could root for.

• Chris Paul + Boston’s Big Three = Pat Riley not sleeping at night. This image alone makes me laugh out loud. But the idea of Boston’s Big Three paired up with CP3 and all his promise actually gets my heart beating faster. I want to see this. I love this. I love the idea of the Celtics and the Heat having the moving parts equal to the bristling hate between them. I don’t want to hear the NBA, which owns the Hornets and won’t diminish the value of its asset by dealing Paul, will never let this happen. I don’t want to hear there’s no way this happens because Paul doesn’t want to go there. I just want to lay back and enjoy the daydream.

• Jason Richardson. The Chicago Bulls. A young, dynamic MVP doubted and dogged by a large chunk of the NBA media’s self-appointed basketball intelligentsia. Enough said. Love it.

• Adding someone like Grant Hill, Shane Battier or Samuel Dalembert to a Heat team with the Big Three, a healthy Udonis Haslem and a (maybe) not-so-brittle Mike Miller? Downright scary for the league, downright phenomenal for fans hoping another guy takes his talents to South Beach, downright, well, something for The Chosen One. Let this happen. Miami winning the whole thing with that kind of arsenal would be as fun as watching Miami not winning with that kind of arsenal.

That’s 882 words on just how much fun it is to think about this stuff, and there’s more free-agent, possible-trade, wouldn’t-it-be-cool-if-it-happened speculation out there to add thousands more.

It sure beats the tens of thousands of words devoted, since the Mavs beat the Heat in the Finals, to the nuances of an otherwise compelling league flirting with letting greed and ego get in the way of a glorious time for professional basketball.

You can follow Bill Reiter on Twitter or email him at

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