|This season has been a struggle for the Lakers and Dwight Howard. Instead of waiting the year out and establishing a reliable sample size before making conclusions, some writers are jumping to the idea that Howard can't fit with LA and should be traded. Note: These "writers" suck and are nothing more than page view mongers.|
Outside of LeBron James, Dwight Howard probably has been the most controversial NBA player of the last few seasons.
His Dwightmare situation, spanning for roughly two seasons, dominated the entire Orlando Magic franchise and made the games they played seem like a sideshow to the off-court antics he was constantly pulling. Starting in 2010, the star center began to voice his displeasure with the team that drafted him out of high school as the Magic lagged behind while his personal stats skyrocketed.
Eventually, Howard got his wish of being traded and was dealt to the Lakers this summer as part of a four-team trade.
To be fair, Dwight's first 25 games on the West Coast have been far from what he imagined them to be. His Lakers are 11-14 entering Tuesday's game against the Bobcats, 3rd in the Pacific Division, and have looked downright awful for much of this young season. Sure, Steve Nash — another offseason pickup — has missed a bunch of those games due to injury, but the fact remains that L.A. has one the most talented rosters in NBA history and has been playing like a lottery team with it.
But, we are less than halfway through the season so they certainly have the time to turn things around until the playoffs kick around. At least that would be the rational thought.
Unfortunately for us, there are many people in the NBA community who do not share this same logical thinking. One of those people is ESPN.com Insider writer Chris Broussard, who actually isn't much of an insider at all. As we have seen countless times in recent years, Broussard is a conjurer, essentially someone who hears "rumors" from "sources" and transforms them into well-developed trade negotiations that are bound to happen.
Maybe he does this for attention, maybe for page views, maybe because he is gullible enough to believe them. No one can actually know for sure.
But now, Broussard is up to his old tricks again. To be fair, in this article Broussard does not cite sources or say anything is imminent, but he does imply that Dwight Howard could be on the move yet again if the Lakers keep losing.
When I first heard about this (Phil told me, in fact), I was surprised that Broussard started the fiction-writing so soon after the offseason but have come to expect it from the "writer."
Dwight is a free agent after this season, so he can technically end up anywhere next season. Broussard takes this as an opportunity to shout out some random teams where Howard's contract would fit, of course ignoring Howard's multiple statements regarding how badly he wants to re-sign with L.A.
The four franchises he comes up with are the Rockets, Hawks, Mavericks, and Clippers. The Rockets were widely thrown around as a possible landing place for Howard this offseason as they cleared out a lot of cap and roster space in an all-out effort to land the big man.
However, once it became clear that Orlando was disinterested in their trade package, Houston quickly revamped its squad, committing $25 million over three years to Omer Asik and trading for James Harden in a massive deal. Harden re-upped in Houston at or near a max-level type contract. So probably no room for Howard there unless the Rockets gut their roster, which is highly unlikely.
The Hawks are the obligatory "player's hometown" team. There is absolutely no evidence they can either afford, want to afford, or even have the desire to take on Dwight's contract at all. Atlanta is off to a super-quick start, going 14-7 through Monday night's game, and would be stupid to blow up a team that has been surprisingly good. Atlanta's first decision before anything else is with Josh Smith anyway.
Same goes for the Clippers who probably want no part of Howard when they can have Blake Griffin and win 18 of their first 24 games. Obviously, Broussard thinks that teams doing well should just rebuild their roster from scratch with Dwight Howard on it. Like that would make sense.
Finally, the Mavericks were also mentioned a lot this summer as a potential Dwight landing-spot. Much of their chance of getting Howard rested in their ability (or lack of it) to lure native Deron Williams to Big-D from New Jersey/Brooklyn with the Nets. As we know now, D-Will stayed in the Northeast, leaving Dallas high and dry and eventually without Howard either.
Honestly, it is somewhat fathomable that Dallas could reaffirm their interest in the Lakers center and gut much of its roster to obtain him, but it's improbable due to its relative lack of assets.
Do I think there is a chance that the Lakers give up on their "dream team" experiment this season, or even at all? No, not a chance.
Does Chris Broussard? Apparently, yes, and if so, he is terribly off-base.
That is, until he amends his original thoughts later this year and blame his inaccurate "reporting" on another yet-to-be-known rumor. As is the current state of NBA media coverage.