Philadelphia 76ers: How Dwight Howard Makes This Offseason Difficult

By Ryan Heckman


Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

This offseason has been an unforgettable one, if you’re a Philadelphia 76ers fan. It began with your team trading their All Star point guard, Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans for an unproven and injured rookie center — a 7’0” center weighing in at only 205 pounds, I may remind you.

While all of the dust settles from the draft night trade, the Sixers’ free agency plans are somewhat on hold at the moment. Two of their rumored targets this summer are both center Andrew Bynum — who they could choose to bring back — and power forward Josh Smith. Unfortunately for Philadelphia, those plans could be affected by another notorious name this summer.

It is truly the summer of Dwight Howard, sadly. While Howard is mulling free agency options, the teams in line for the former Los Angeles Lakers center all have to have a backup plan in store. For many of those teams, like the Atlanta Hawks or Dallas Mavericks, it will more than likely feature Bynum.

Having competition for his services this offseason was expected, but the teams clearing an ungodly amount of cap space for Howard are likely to go hard after Bynum instead if they lose out on the more popular option.

Another aspect of Howard’s decision is his desire to play with another star. There are also rumors of Howard wanting to play with Smith, and the Houston Rockets have been the highly talked about frontrunner that could make that happen. If Howard and Smith go to the Rockets, or another team for that matter, the Sixers are out of luck.

They will miss out on Smith and also probably Bynum because he will wind up with another team featuring more cap space.

Now, what about other options like Andre Iguodala or O.J. Mayo? Well, again, those are two names rumored to be linked to teams that miss out on Howard. They are two of the more popular guys on the market this summer and if a franchise misses out on Howard, look for them to go after those two in effort to feel like they didn’t miss out completely on the 2013 free agency frenzy.

For the Sixers, they might wind up with next to nothing as far as big time signings go. Don’t be too upset though fans, because next summer is an even bigger free agent market and saving money this year might wind up helping the franchise in the long run.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA Writer for Follow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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