Dwight Howard Landing Spot
Still a Free Agent Frenzy
For those who thought there would not be any Dwight Howard drama this summer, since he decided not to opt out of his current contract and forgo being a free agent this summer. You were sadly mistaken. Even though Dwight Howard is still obligated to play out his last year on his contract with the Magic, he is still one of the most sought after players this Off-Season. He has been seriously courted by at least four teams, but I believe only three teams had a serious chance of landing Dwight Howard. Those three franchises are the Brooklyn Nets, Houston Rockets, and Los Angeles Lakers with the frontrunner being the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets have the best chance because that was the team that Dwight Howard requested the Orlando Magic trade him to.
Different Turn of Events
Ever since Dwight Howard made it known that the Brooklyn Nets was his preferred landing spot, it was assumed that they were the frontrunners; and that they had the best chance to acquire Howard from the Orlando Magic. Especially since they convinced Deron Williams and Gerald Wallace to sign long term contracts. The Brooklyn Nets’ chances in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes were still high even though they also acquired Joe Johnson in a multi-team trade. That reason stemmed from the fact that they still able to hold on to valuable trade pieces in Brook Lopez, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, and future draft picks.(Lopez and Humphries would have to be included via sign-and-trade) However, their chances of obtaining the services of Dwight Howard severely shrunk when signed Brook Lopez to a four-year max contract valued at $61 million dollars. However the temporary trade clause in his new contract prevents Lopez from being traded until after January 15th, 2013. Effectively putting a snag in the Net’s trades talk with the Magic. It basically symbolized them dropping out the race for Dwight Howard or risk losing Brook Lopez in free agency.
Then There Were Only Two
Since the Brooklyn Nets have nearly fallen out of the race of Dwight Howard, I believe it is safe to assume the Los Angeles Lakers have arisen as the new frontrunners only with help of the Houston Rockets. However, the Houston Rockets are also in the Dwight Howard sweepstake and have stockpiled extra draft picks. Acquiring new young talent in this most recent draft in Jeremy Lamb, Terrance Jones, and Royce White. In addition to that, the Houston Rockets also have valuable trade pieces in Kevin Martin, Chandler Parsons, Patrick Patterson, and Marcus Morris. They are also prepared to waive Luis Scola in order shed the rest of his three year contracts valued at $21 million dollars off their books under the amnesty clause. Although, it is unlikely that Dwight Howard will sign a long term with the Houston Rockets, but if they were able to pull of this trade straight up with the Orlando Magic it is apparent that they are confident that they can convince Howard to stay. Even though the Houston Rockets have made this many moves into to acquiring Howard I still see Los Angeles getting him at the end of the sweepstakes because they are a team on the brink of being a contender again. They can offer the Houston Rockets Andrew Bynum if they were to assist the Lakers facilitating a trade with the Orlando Magic. If Dwight Howard was to become a Los Angeles Laker, that would create an All-Star Trio of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Dwight Howard.