All this talk, the back and forth, have gotten me itching to find out who the Lakers are actually going to take action towards and acquire this off-season. Out of all the rumors so far, I am least excited about the attention given to Dwight Howard. I know I am going against the grain here, but let me explain.
Our very own Jabari Davis did a great feature today on the timeline that was Howard’s career this past year. And honestly, it is full of drama. Howard is a good player, but part of being a great asset to any team is also being able to be managed well, clearly express your interests, and have an overall clear mindset on where you stand within an organization. Sometimes we forget about how a player’s statistics aren’t the only thing that matter. Look at Cleveland after LeBron left; there was such an outpouring of upset feelings because of promises that were made and not kept by James. He finally won a championship this year with Miami, but at what cost to Cleveland? Do the Lakers want to be them? I am not saying this situation with Howard is the same, I am just pointing out how the drama that centered around Dwight last year proved to be such a headache for Orlando and Howard himself. It begs me to ask what would happen if he were as unhappy in L.A. this coming year.
The latest rumor seems to be aimed at trading Bynum for Howard. Bynum may have been difficult at the end of this year, but this big man has one less thing to worry about than if they took on Howard, a herniated disk. Bynum isn’t injury free; he has had knee and ankle issues, but none can be thought of as major as Howard’s back injury this season. This injury was so bad that it effectively stripped Dwight of the chance to play in the Olympics, almost half a year after the injury occurred. In March of this year, Dwight complained of back problems, and it wasn’t until April when he was unable to play and had to get back surgery. But unlike a sprained ankle, a herniated disk can be debilitating, for life. Even with surgery, the issue can present itself again, especially with the physical toll Howard puts on his body. This type of injury is most commonly found in older individuals; at 26, after constant pressure from basketball and overexertion, Howard was plagued by this ailment.
For those who believe basketball comes down to wins, game to game wins, then I understand where Dwight fits in. He is an experienced and stellar player. But to me, building a championship team, and a franchise like the Lakers once had, requires scrapping easy solutions and concentrating on a foundation. The Lakers need health and youth; Dwight is not healthy and with eight seasons already under his belt, is on the up of his “youth.” Lest we forget, if Howard injures his back again, which is likely, we would have traded one of our most influential players for someone who is useless.
Whatever the Lakers do, I hope they make a smart decision. I want to see another championship come back to Los Angeles.
Lakers Nation News
Fast Break Thoughts [Forum Blue and Gold]
Does Nash to Toronto Mean Calderon to LA? [ESPN LA]
Lakers Re-Sign Darius Morris [LA Times]
Time to Trade Bynum for Howard [OC Register]
Has the Dwight Howard Calculus Changed for the Lakers? [ESPN]
Lakers Guard Darius Morris Signs Qualifying Offer [Lakers.com]
Newest Lakers Introduce Themselves [Lakers Blog]
Lakers Express Interest in Small Forwards Nick Young, Brandon Rush [LA Times]
Lawsuit Dismissed in Tots Fall at Laker Game [OC Register]
Lamar Odom’s Career: Past and Present [OC Register]
Chicago Bulls Reach Out to Derek Fisher, Brandon Roy [ESPN Chicago]
Top 10 Most Interesting NBA Free Agents to Watch [ProBasketball Talk]
Nuggets Reach Deal to Re-Sign Andre Miller [Yahoo Sports]
Jazz Trade Devin Harris to Hawks for Marvin Williams [ProBasketball Talk]
Nets Close to Acquiring Joe Johnson [NBA]
Chris Bosh Went to Taco Bell Before Joining the Heat After- Party [The Basketball Jones]
Lama Odom Welcomes Back by Los Angeles Clippers [ESPN]
Mavs, Nets Get Best Pitches Ready [NBA.com]
Kobe, LeBron Lead List of 9 Who Have Secured Spots on Team USA [ProBasketball Talk]