Trades that should've been made

The Nets should have had a plan that included trading Deron Willams if Dwight Howard stayed in Orlando. Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Every year at the NBA trade deadline, inevitably there are those trades that apply to the age-old cliché "the best trades are sometimes the ones you don't do."

However, there are also trades you don't do that you live to regret.

Such is the case with the following three trades that should have happened before the 3 p.m. ET Thursday deadline. Trades made under intense pressure and in a short time frame certainly can lead to a bad case of buyer's remorse. But these trades should have been made, and because they weren't the teams are poorer for it, both in the short term and long term.

Dwight Howard to New Jersey Nets or Los Angeles Lakers

Instead of trading Howard on Thursday, the Orlando Magic now have Howard for another year after the center agreed to waive his early termination option, thus guaranteeing he will be with the Magic for the start of the 2012-13 season.

What is troubling is Magic ownership engaging in a very dangerous game of chicken. They run the strong possibility of crushing their franchise for years to come. Howard's indecision already has adversely affected the 2011-12 season. Instead of trading him and starting a quick rebuild, they've signed up for the same behavior from Howard a year from now.