NBA Rumors: Where Will Dwight Howard End Up?
Dwight Howard: Where Will the Dominant Big Man End Up?
I hope you are ready for it. Another summer full of Dwight Howard drama appears to be right around the corner. As we know, Howard was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers last season after demanding a trade from the Orlando Magic. It was a rocky road for Howard in Orlando, where he butted heads with members of the front office and head coach Stan Van Gundy before asking to be traded. He seemed to get along with his teammates and coaching staff last season in Los Angeles, but at times seemed disinterested. I mean, aside from the Howard for Andrew Bynum swap and the addition of Steve Nash, the Lakers essentially had the same team as past seasons. They struggled mightily this season whereas they were right in the championship race in others.
I think it is fair to wonder whether a team will win a title with Howard aboard. Teams with Howard always seems to be missing something. It is hard to pin-point exactly what it is, but I am beginning to wonder if he is a bad teammate who is not good for "clubhouse atmosphere". That being said, Howard is probably the most talented big man in the league, and will surely have plenty of suitors this off-season. His incredible defensive presence is unmatched by anyone in the league and he is also a great rebounder. He does have his limitations offensively, but he is one of the best finishers around the rim in the game.
Personally, I see five potential teams for Howard to end up on this offseason. I am going to rank them here, with No.1 being the most likely destination for the star center.
5. Golden State Warriors
This would be a little tough for the Golden State Warriors to pull off, as they do not have the cap space to sign Howard. That being said, I could see the possibility of them working out a sign-and-trade deal with the Lakers, something centered around Andrew Bogut or David Lee. If Howard were to land in Golden State with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Warriors would be considered serious contenders in the Western Conference.
4. Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is always looking to make a big splash. He has been interested in acquiring Howard for years. While the Mavericks have not been mentioned much as a suitor for Howard, I would never count them out with Cuban in charge.
3. Atlanta Hawks
With only three players under contract for this upcoming season, the Atlanta Hawks could completely rebuild their roster. There have been many rumors surrounding Howard and Chris Paul coming to Atlanta. Howard grew up in the Atlanta area, and you would have to think that he would at least consider the Hawks. Imagine both Paul and Howard in Atlanta. If they could also re-sign Josh Smith, this team could compete with the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
Even though Howard's first season in Los Angeles did not go according to plan, I think there is still a good chance he return to the Lakers. If he wants to go down as one of the greatest big men of all time, there is no better place to cement his legacy that with the Lakers. From George Mikan to Wilt Chamberlain to Kareem Abdul-Jabaar and Shaquille O'Neal, there have been a ton of Hall of Famers playing the center position for the Lakers. Howard has the talent to add his name to that list; I just wonder whether he can handle it or not.
1. Houston Rockets
I think Howard will end up signing with the Houston Rockets. Him and James Harden would make a nice strong superstar duo. Also, the Rockets have nice role players like Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons and Omar Asik. With the addition of Howard, the Rockets would become legitimate contenders in the West.