There are bad decisions, and then there are horribly awful decisions. There’s sticking your hand in the toaster and then there’s sticking your hand in the toaster while you’re relaxing in a bubble bath upon returning from the hospital to get a pacemaker installed in your chest.
For the Los Angeles Lakers, trading for Dirk Nowitzki right now is the equivalent of the latter.
Nowitzki would simply be another recently-injured, under-performing cog in the sputtering machine that is the 2012-13 Lakers. Grafting another past-their-prime player onto that team is going to detract from their already-lacking chemistry with one another, and is just going to put more pressure on Mike D’Antoni, who, like Mike Brown, is going to take most of the blame for the inevitably disappointing results this season has yielded.
It’s would be a hustle, a con, a bamboozlement if the Dallas Mavericks were able to pull off a Nowitzki-for-Dwight-Howard type deal. Howard is a free agent after this year, and the Mavericks could let him walk and focus on rebuilding their team. Yes, as much as the egomaniac and Entourage guest-star Mark Cuban doesn’t want to admit it, the Mavericks need rebuild. Frankly, I think Cuban has been too busy appearing on Shark Tank and looking at himself in the mirror, or other shiny objects, to notice that this year his team has no shot at competing with the likes of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference.
For the Lakers, this trade would be a disaster. The money this season would not differ too much, as Howard and Nowitzki make S19.5 million and $20.9 million respectively this season, but next season Nowitzki would still have a year left on his current deal, and the Lakers would be paying $22.7 million for a thirty-five-year-old coming off knee surgery. If that didn’t have Los Angeles shying away from it, how about the fact that Nowitzki plays power forward? With the addition of Howard this year, Pau Gasol has been starting at the power forward spot, and moving him to center would have him learning a completely different role in D’Antoni’s offense.
How would Nowitzki himself handle the shift should this deal take place? It’s tough to say, but I do know that, historically, Germans have not been the best at handling losing and are typically quick to shift the blame when things aren’t going their way.