According to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Lakers center Dwight Howard still has his eyes on one day joining the Brooklyn Nets. During a radio episode of “Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco,” Smith said (near the 34:00 mark of the audio) one of his sources told him about Howard’s desire to head to New York City.
Stephen A. Smith: “I had a reliable source tell me this, Dwight Howard will categorically deny it, but I trust my source, when they were playing Toronto recently, he sat there on the court and told Rudy Gay, ‘You messed up bad man. You should have waited and ended up with me in Brooklyn next year.”
It is not clear who Smith’s source is and if that person is reliable, but if the claim is true, the Lakers should be a little worried. Howard may have been joking around with Gay on the court, but Howard is an important player for the Lakers moving forward and hearing these reports is not something to be taken lightly.
This season has been very turbulent for Dwight Howard and he does not look like the player that he was when he suited up for the Orlando Magic. Los Angeles understands that it needs to rebuild once Kobe Bryant retires and that Howard will be the centerpiece for any future championship runs. Nevertheless, the front office has to convince him to stay long term before it can make any other moves.
*Update: there seemed to be some inconsistency in Smith’s story, as he reported that Howard told Rudy Gay this while playing the Raptors. Unfortunately, that’s impossible because Toronto didn’t have Gay when they last played the Lakers. Smith updated his story via Twitter.