When RealGM columnist Jarrod Rudolph broke the news Tuesday morning that the Brooklyn Nets were pursuing a trade for Dwight Howard, he didn’t anticipate the vast response of the online community to misinterpret this as a sign that the seven-time All Star wants out of LA. But, being the city that thrives off drama, of course, that’s exactly what happened.
“People have mistaken the Nets reported desire for Dwight as some type of way for Dwight to request a trade.”
Truth is, Rudolph’s report was pretty standard. The NBA trade deadline is fast approaching (Feb. 21st), and all teams are (and if they aren’t should be) exploring any and all opportunities to better their team. And, according to Rudolph and the information he received from his sources, Brooklyn happened to be one of those teams.
“This was an idea. They were prepping to make another run at Dwight. And, the first plan of action was to use Kevin Love as a tool to do that. He matches up financially with Brook Lopez…and he’s expressed some disinterest at what’s going on in Minnesota.”
Thus, according to Rudolph’s sources, the Brooklyn Nets were very interested in potentially proposing a three team trade for Dwight Howard that would send Kevin Love to Los Angeles and Brook Lopez to Minnesota. But, as Rudolph clarified in his interview with LakersNation.com’s Serena Winters, this particular idea, which was brought to his attention three weeks ago, was stunted after Kevin Love’s injury.
Nonetheless, is the idea that teams are bouncing around proposal ideas with the hope of striking a conversation with the Lakers front office all that surprising? As Rudolph explains, it shouldn’t be.
“When you see a team like the Lakers that’s struggling…It can’t be suggested that Pau Gasol is the only Laker that’s a trade asset. When you have a guy like Dwight Howard that can change the direction of your franchise, and he has a decision to make in the summertime, you’re going to feel like maybe you can pressure the Lakers into doing something that benefits your organization. That’s what every GM in the league is supposed to do.”
As a matter of fact, Rudolph said emphatically that he has no inclination that Dwight Howard has requested or even thought about a trade at this point. And, Jarrod Rudolph’s reports were at the forefront of the ‘Dwightmare,’ as well as Howard’s summertime trade to Los Angeles, plus his close relationship with Dwight Howard has drawn plenty’s attention.
“Dwight doesn’t want to be traded. Dwight’s not thinking about the summertime, he’s not thinking about February, he’s thinking about the next game and he’s dedicated to trying to get everything right in LA, but that doesn’t mean that other teams, and other GMs aren’t watching what’s going on in LA…and not preparing to make the Lakers’ offers, not only for Dwight, but for Nash and Gasol.”
Basically, what Rudolph is signifying is that of course teams are going to be looking into trade proposals to present to the Lakers. Why wouldn’t they? The fact of the matter is that at 17-24 with a roster of superstars, the Lakers are clearly struggling (to put it lightly). And, that frustration could also lead to an unhappy roster of players, which could then translate into vulnerability in the Lakers front office. In which case, it would be the perfect time to communicate an enticing proposal to most likely, a somewhat perplexed and possibly chaotic Lakers front office. From a General Manager standpoint, it would be foolish not to think about these things, especially if changes could bring your team closer to a championship.
As suggested by Rudolph, that’s exactly what went through the mind of Billy King, GM of the Brooklyn Nets.
“They believe if they got Dwight they could make a run at the NBA Championship this year…The rumor is that Billy King will be looking around… for an attractive 3rd piece. And, if he finds one then he’ll make an offer at the trade deadline. If not, then he won’t but hes not going to go at it the same way he did this summer.”
So, does this mean that Dwight Howard will be traded to the Brooklyn Nets? No, but it also doesn’t mean that it’s completely off the table. As a matter of fact, with the exception of Kobe Bryant, nothing’s off the table. This team was built to win, they’re not winning, and for that, changes will be made. You better believe that the Lakers will be receiving their fair share of phone calls over the next 29 days, as they should be. The GMs, after all, are just trying to do their jobs.
*You can follow Jarrod Rudolph on Twitter at @JRudolphSports
VIDEO: Interview with Jarrod Rudolph, discussing his report and the Dwight Howard trade rumors