Dwight Howard can literally pick and choose where ever he wants to play next season. The Los Angeles Lakers have done nothing so far to prevent that from happening.
Howard wants to be the man. It is hard to be that when Kobe Bryant is the current face of the Lakers.
Howard wants the ball more. It is hard to do that when Bryant is a superior scorer and Mike D’Antoni is running the show as head coach.
So what are the benefits for Howard to stay in L.A.?
Howard can be one of the best players in the NBA on the most prestigious franchise the league has to offer. It does not get any better than that. A franchise that is always in the hunt for a title, constant national exposure and being the main attraction for entertainment in Hollywood is very appealing. I’m sure Howard is aware of all those reasons, but I do not believe that is enough for him to want to stay with Lakers for another five years.
So why would Howard leave L.A.?
According to ESPN earlier today, Howard is ” unlikely” to re-sign with the Lakers. Howard wants to sign with a team with a coach and a system that best utilizes his skill-set. Now with the weight of the world on their shoulders, the pressure is on the Lakers to do whatever it takes to re-sign Howard this offseason.
The biggest issue that will prevent Howard from staying with the Lakers is D’Antoni. He was the wrong hire to begin with once the Lakers fired Mike Brown five games into last season. Howard is a traditional, back to the basket big man who uses his physical strength down in the paint to dominate the opposition. D’Antoni does not believe in that kind of offense. He wants to push the ball and get it to his perimeter shooters.
Los Angeles must fire D’Antoni if Howard is going to re-sign. There is no going around this. It has to be done or they will lose the former Defensive Player of the Year to another franchise.
The Lakers have never been in this position before. It is unfamiliar territory for them. Los Angeles has never had to convince a star player to stay with them when they can make more money playing with the Lakers. Times have definitely changed in “Laker Land”. The Lakers actually have to really sell themselves as a franchise for once.
The basketball world cannot wait to see the outcome of this situation. Whether Howard is a Laker or with another franchise, it will be shocking either way.