Dwight Howard has reportedly chosen to join the Houston Rockets.
The Los Angeles Lakers should be relieved more so than being disappointed. Howard never embraced the Lakers’ championship tradition. He never wanted to be in L.A. in the first place. Los Angeles was just an escape from his former situation in Orlando. Howard wanted to go through the free agency process. He yearned for it.
What are the Lakers going to do next?
Now with Howard’s departure, the Lakers can focus on the future of the franchise. As for next season, making the playoffs would be an obtainable goal, but blowing the whole roster up would be best.
The roster is aging and it is time for the Lakers to get younger and more athletic. With Kobe Bryant as the only untouchable piece, the Lakers can make moves with the likes of Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace and Steve Nash via trade and/or amnesty.
If the Lakers want to stick it out with the old guys one last time, then they would most likely be a playoff contender. All L.A. has to do is stay somewhat healthy next season and they would be a tough out for any team in next year’s playoffs. There is too much pride with the Lakers’ core of former All Stars not to make it happen.
Howard joining the Rockets makes them a serious contender for a spot in the NBA Finals next season. Houston possesses a very youthful roster with a lot of talent across the board. Howard teamed up with James Harden is a scary combo for teams to go up against. Houston’s immediate future is very bright with the signing of the former Defensive Player of the Year.
For Howard, now it is time to put up or shut up. He cried his way out of Orlando. He left L.A. with no remorse. Howard has finally chosen a place where he is not pressured to win at all costs. Howard now has to prove all the doubters wrong and start winning championships, period.