SH Blog: Will The Lakers Trade Dwight? Garnett to LAC Dead For Now; Josh Smith Most Likely To Be Traded

There is an old adage that relates to both the sports and business world: “people are your most important asset.”

Since it’s no secret that the NBA is a bottom-line league, as Thursday’s trade deadline rapidly approaches these words of wisdom become even more ubiquitous.

But that doesn’t make them necessarily true. People are not your most important asset.

The RIGHT people are.

With the trade deadline less than 48 hours away, no situation has become more disconcerting than that of Los Angeles Lakers, who must reverentially contemplate the future of the franchise while mourning the loss of their beloved owner, Jerry Buss.

The Lakers will begin the second half of the season a hopeless 25-29 and 3.5 games behind the Houston Rockets for the eighth and final playoff seed. And as the decorated future of the franchise, Dwight Howard has struggled to find his role and confidence with the team.

“They just don’t put the ball in the post,” Phil Jackson said in a revealing interview with Sports Illustrated. “They’ll use a screen-roll to get the guy in the post. But there’s no consistent plan to do it.

“Yes, Kobe will go in there. But Dwight [Howard] just doesn’t get any touches. They’ve basically eliminated his assets.”

Quite frankly, he looks as miserable as he’s ever been. Here is a back-and-forth between Dwight Howard and the boss, Chris Sheridan during All-Star weekend:

DH: “I’ve got to do what makes me happy. That’s it.”

CS: “What makes you happy? What has made you the most happy over the course of your career?”

DH: “Having fun on the court. That makes me happy.”

CS: “Are you having as much fun as you used to have on the court?”

DH: “At the present time, no. Hopefully it gets better.

With Howard, it’s not uncommon to begin with one problem and discover another.

Dwight is in the leagues biggest market with a star-studded cast, just as he wanted when he acrimoniously forced his way out of Orlando last season. Even so, Howard has become even more estranged, from his team and from the game.

“I was out in Houston this past weekend at the All-Star Game and I spent a lot of time talking to Dwight Howard,” Sheridan said in an interview with New York’s WFAN on Tuesday. “Let me tell you something — the guy is miserable. I’ve never seen a player as miserable in his current circumstances as this guy is right now. He said he wants the game to be fun for him again.”

While Lakers’ GM Mitch Kupchack is adamantly on the record that Howard will not be traded, there is a growing sentiment around the league that he may spurn LA in the offseason when he becomes a free agent.

Do not put any stock into Kupchack’s assurances, though. It’s just NBA trade protocol: never let your players know they are being shopped in case the deal falls through.

Kupchak said he is not trading Dwight Howard.

So ensues the “Dwightmare,” as Howard once again finds himself the center of attention and the leagues biggest question mark before the trade deadline.


  1. jerry25 says

    It scares me to think about it, but if LAL loses tonight, they could forget about playoffs.
    King/Proky would no long trade Lopez for Howard, even up, even if ESPN don’t know that. (Lopez>Howard at this moment (injury), and could be a better fit for Nets to win.

    Best move for LAL would be Josh Smith for Howard, which scares me. ATL might take risk of re-signing Howard. LAL could afford to give Smith what he wants. When Pau returns next season, LAL would be good team and wouldn’t have to fire D’Antoni.

    • Ben Baroff says

      Excellent points. It will be interesting to see if LAL pulls the trigger. I believe they should, but wouldn’t bank on it with Jim Buss calling the shots.

  2. jerry25 says

    Why would Bucks expect to re-sign Smith. Back to Brooklyn full circle. We don’t even know what King has offered after MarShon and Hump (maybe substituting Ben Gordon for Hump)? King can offer 3 1st round picks, good Eurostash and Tyshaun Taylor as well as Teletovich.
    King is friends with Ferry and his dad is a Nets scout. Ferry is likely trying to push Billy to raise his offer. King was watching his cell phone since the 2nd quarter all last night.

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