With another trade deadline gone and free agent offseason on the horizon for the NBA there it is time for teams to start wondering if they have a shot to land the (in)famous Dwight Howard. The All Star center for the Lakers was unable to reach a contract extension agreement at the beginning of the season so there is a good chance that he will become a free agent at the end of the season and with uncertainty in his future it’s time for the rumor mill to start spinning (I just assume that a rumor mill works like a windmill and there is some sort of spinning function to it).
This story line may seem familiar to you. Dwight has been the speculation of many a trade and sign and trade rumors for the past two years and the talking heads on ESPN have been… well talking. Last year Dwight demanded a trade, from his former team the Orlando Magic, and up until the trade deadline stated that he would opt out of his contract at the end of the 2011/12 season if he didn't get it. The day of the trade deadline Dwight relented on his demands and signed an addendum to his contract making it impossible for him to opt out at the end of the season.
Now there is speculation in Houston that Dwight is unhappy in LA and wants out at the end of the year. This has many Houston Rockets fans excited about the possibility of a Harden & Howard led Rockets team next season.
Here is why it won’t happen:
1. The Lakers can offer him a five year contract and everyone else in the league can offer him a 4 year contract. That means more money for him to stay in LA.
2. Dwight likes attention more than he likes basketball and there isn't a place in the world that you get more attention than when you play for the Lakers.
3. Nobody leaves LA. LA leaves you (see Shaq’s career). They are like the Yakuza of the NBA.
Here is why it shouldn't happen:
1. Dwight has been injured off and on all season. The one common denominator about all big men is that when they start breaking down they are never the same.
2. The Rockets have a top 5 center with a great contract. They need to address the power forward position.
3. Dwight will lose 3-5 games for you in a season with his sub 50% free throw shooting. The Rockets beat the Lakers this season strictly because he couldn't hit a free throw during crunch time.
4. He can’t score on his own. Remember when Olajuwon or Yao would get the ball in the fourth quarter and make offensive plays to win the game. Howard can’t do that. He can rebound and defend but if he isn't getting the ball 1 foot away from the goal then he probably isn't scoring. Not the type of guy you want to give max money to for 4 years.