SH Blog: Dwight Howard = Unearned Arrogance

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He doesn’t want to live up to the championship standard the 16 banners above him represent. And the outcome of getting nothing in return is unacceptable let alone a complete debacle.

As a business professional looking to make your next hire, would you select the candidate that doesn’t really want to work for you? They have a great resume and unmistakable talent, but they only came in because there aren’t currently any openings at their dream job down the road. There’s a strong possibility that they might bolt at a moments notice. Would you hire that guy?

This is not to say that the Lakers should be looking to dump Howard for pennies on the dollar. That would be facetious and potentially just as fatal to the franchise as letting him walk. His talent alone warrants a decent sized haul, and they should be exploring their options. There will always be a buyer for potential as great as Howard, one that just might be enticing enough to preserve this season, or the next. Because it is clear that what they are working with now just isn’t going to work.

According to a story reported by Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM yesterday, the Brooklyn Nets are preparing to make another run at Howard. Rudolph claims Nets GM Billy King has been closely monitoring the Lakers struggles and believes Dwight can be had for the right price. That price most likely is a superstar caliber player that will be a long-term asset to the Lakers. Billy King believed that player to be Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves, a Los Angeles native, a former UCLA Bruin and a star big man with an unparalleled skillset. Of course, the proposal was shelved when Love was sidelined for 8-10 weeks with a broken hand.

SheridanHoops own Mark Heisler believes that the Lakers should take a strong look into trading Howard back to his hometown Atlanta Hawks for Josh Smith. Howard and Smith, as the cornerstone pieces of the trade, would make sense in basketball terms. Smith is the athletic forward who can run in Mike D’Antoni’s coveted system and help spread the floor for Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol to go to work.

But of course there is more at play with Howard than just “basketball,” as there always seems to be.  Is it too soon to give up on Dwight? Is he committed to making it work in LA? Would Dwight resign with Atlanta, or another suitor? Would Josh Smith – an unrestricted free agent at seasons end – resign with LA? Lakers management is going to need some candor out of Howard either way, something they aren’t likely to get.

With the NBA’s February 21 trade deadline looming, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has a franchise altering decision to make. In an interview with ESPN on Tuesday Kupchak gave his blessing to D’Antoni while urging him to adjust to his personnel. It seems as if he would prefer to keep both Howard and D’Antoni, obviously.

Being at the forefront of the decision to roll the dice on Howard in the first place, Kupchak clearly did not want to come off as a naysayer.

Nobody does.

Until, of course, it becomes clear that yes was the wrong answer.

Ben Baroff is an aspiring sports journalist and marketing professional who blogs and writes columns for SheridanHoops.com. Follow him on Twitter

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Comments

  1. Great article! I would agree with most of it, but I do not feel that he is as unhappy here as one would think. Actually…I do not even know if Dwight knows if he is happy or not. He is definitely frustrated with Mike D’Antoni and his system, but from what I hear, enjoys living in LA. The real question is…do you keep Dwight or D’Antoni? I am pretty sure we will know that answer by the February 21st trade deadline. If Dwight is still on the team past that date, I bet the house that MDA is gone after the season.

  2. Ben Baroff says:

    Thanks Lex, it is going to be interesting to see how this plays out for the Lakers. They do not have a lot of options, but it seems that something’s gotta give soon.

  3. Once Lakers fall to 10 games under 500, they will be contacting Minny (again) and the Nets and hope for the 3 way trade that was speculated by Jarrod Rudolph. My belief is that Lakers were in discussion with Minny to trade Gasol for Love. When that fell through they discussed the perfect trade of Love to Lakers, Lopez to Minny and Howard to Nets.

    What was stopping the Lakers from getting doing that trade was Love’s injury. However so it will be apparent that THIS season is over for the Lakers and the Lakers might as well cleanse their locker room of Dwight Howard. Love is guaranteed to be 100%. However, the sticking point is likely to be that Howard’s Health is a concern (shoulder/back) and Nets are hoping to go at least 2 rounds in the playoffs. Nets would be taking a risk to trade Lopez for Howard (via Minny). They will not be willing to give up more than a straight trade. It will take until the trade deadline before Howard can prove his health and Lakers will agree to a straight deal.

    Tonight Brook Lopez will officially be named as an All Star. Lakers may regret not getting Lopez directly, but by sticking with D’Antoni, Kevin Love fits better into his system, and would allow Lakers to keep Gasol.

  4. As a Knicks fan, I’m dying for the Nyets to ship Lopez and Humphries out of town to land this uncommitted doofus and sad excuse for a professional.

    Howard has had enough time in the league to prove that he’s a cancer no matter where he goes. I’d love for him to spread it throughout the bones of the Nyets.

    • Nets are not going to offer anything more more Howard, than Brook Lopez, via Kevin Love and Minny. They could potentially send Hump back to Minny, but Nets would get back more in return.

  5. Excellent article. I have no clue why anyone thought Howard/Kobe/Nash could develop chemistry when history clearly shows 2 of the 3 above with narcissistic qualities that you call = “unearned arrogance.” Awesome and that should be copyrighted. LOL.

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