I’m not going to waste your your time chronicling all the silly statements that have come out of Dwight Howard’s mouth in the last eight months regarding his future with the Magic. If Howard is asked about his future multiple times daily, of course he’s going to make regrettable comments. We can all agree he’s handled it poorly.
(The next star who goes through this might want to try repeating this, ad nauseum: “I’m working it out with the front office, we’ll let you know when we have something.”)
What’s dumbfounding is how Howard could say, after beating the Heat Tuesday night, ‘don’t trade me, let’s play this out.’
So when he leaves Orlando for Dallas or New Jersey in July – it’s increasingly looking like the Nets – all you’ll hear from the Magic and fans in Orlando is: “But you told us not to trade you, why would you do us dirty like that?”
(I wonder if Howard is seeing what’s happening to Carmelo Anthony with the Knicks – we’ll get to that later – and doesn’t want to run the risk of blowing up a team’s nucleus, then getting all the blame when that hollowed-out team struggles.)
Remember how Cleveland turned on LeBron angrily after he bolted for South Beach? Dwight Howard’s about to do the same thing to Orlando – without a TV special.
And Howard might win even bigger than LeBron did. If the Magic do the unthinkable and don’t trade Howard in the next 48 hours, the Nets don’t have to trade away Brook Lopez or draft picks. In a perfect world, here’s New Jersey’s starting lineup next year:
PG – Deron Williams
SG – Marshon Brooks
SF – DeShawn Stevenson/Gerald Green
PF – Kris Humphries/Brook Lopez
C – Dwight Howard
Go out and find a defensive-minded wing (a Tony Allen-type) to defend LeBron/Wade/Melo in the playoffs. Boom. Title contender. I know you hate Kris Humphries, but he’s averaging 13-10. If he asks for too much money – and he might; he’s certainly earning it – then roll with Brook Lopez at PF, even though he doesn’t rebound well, which is all you really need from him.
Orlando is screwed.