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The Fake Verdict: Howard for Irving

I don't like this smile.
I don't like this smile.

My five piece series of fake Kyrie Irving today rolls on as I examine whether I'd trade him straight up for Dwight Howard. If you want to run back and find the rules and explanation of this series, please do so. Howard is featured today thanks to vottomatic and kptb.

I recently wrote about my thoughts on Russell Westbrook with Kevin Durant, Kevin Love and Blake Griffin still to come.

Big D12 is in a contract year with multiple teams seemingly jostling their rosters to try and someway or somehow get his services.

Most people know Howard's story well. What they don't know is that his game has adjusted a bit this season. At the All-Star break, he is at career highs in 3PA (seriously!), DRB%, TRB%, STL%, AST% and is leading the league for the 5th straight year in defensive rating (which measures how many points the Magic give up per 100 possessions with him on the floor).

Unfortunately, his ever worrisome free throw shooting his taken a dip for the worse and finally fallen below 50% while his eFG% and True Shooting numbers also have taken a dive.

As the marquee free agent this summer, Howard is certainly going to command a maximum contract extension.

I've actually always been quite critical of Howard throughout the years for many years that aren't relevant today and never been a fan of his. But, I really do admire the fact that with all the beatings he takes that he has only missed SEVEN games in his entire career.

With the Magic's entire season in flux over Howard's situation the entire organization has a tense feel to it with the big fella holding them all in limbo.

I personally would take Dwight over anybody besides LeBron James to start my team with today but the question is what does Howard still have left?

In my opinion, tons. I thought he should easily have won the 2010-2011 NBA MVP and might be in the consideration again should he move somewhere next year and get back into the "positive storyline voters mind" again..

At just 26 with no major injuries in his past, Howard should continue to be a force in the paint for the next decade. While I find his act, and that annoying smile, disgusting often it would be a close call if I was Chris Grant and was offered Howard straight up for Kyrie Irving.

The Verdict: In the end, there's no chance I pass on this trade and do ship out Irving for Howard. Too risky with his impending free agency, you say? Call me crazy but I'm one of those guys who doesn't think anyone is passing on all the extra money one would lose by leaving under the current collective bargaining agreement. Things wouldn't look great if he called my bluff though, eh?

Irving certainly is a phenomenal prospect and talent but Howard's two way dominance is too much to pass up on in this case.

Would you make this 100% fake trade?

Please limit your discussion to this trade specifically and not jump into random three for one trades you want to make.

This shouldn't really have to be said but of course I do not at all want Kyrie Irving to be traded. I'm simply attempting to gauge for you how valuable of an asset he truly is.