Houston—Already shopping forward Thomas Robinson to open up space for a max slot. Signing Dwight would neccessitate more moves to accommodate him, like finding a taker for center Omer Asik. Not that I expect the Lakers, who retired the numbers of Mikan, Wilt, Kareem and Shaq to take Asik, or participate in any sign-and-trade.
If Dwight leaves, the Lakers will probably take the extra $20 million in cap room and $50 million in savings, counting luxury tax over any package of players. The tandem of Howard and James Harden sounds impressive, but so did the tandem of Dwight and Kobe. Harden’s bread-and-butter play is the pick-and-roll, which Dwight couldn’t run with Steve Nash, so good luck.
Mavericks—They’re shopping their No. 13 pick for the room to sign Dwight.
Picture it: Howard with Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, Vince Carter, Rodrique Beaubois and Jae Crowder….I’m sorry, why would anyone think Dwight will go there again?
Warriors—They’re not in it, no matter what Dwight’s wishing. They don’t have cap room, obliging him to trade for him. Beyond both teams’ disinclination to trade with each other, the last place the Lakers would ever send Dwight is to another Pacific Division team. Just in case you, and Dwight, wondered.
These teams may join those Dwight has already led on the rocks.
Magic—They spent two years trying to keep him, encouraged by Dwight who kept saying he wanted to stay. The centerpiece of their presentation was the 2011 All-Star Game in their new arena, a pageant intended to show Howard how much they loved him. Of course, Dwight was just being polite about saying he wanted to stay. Unfortunately, they were dealing with him first-hand, too, and wanted to believe him, etc. The Magic wound up firing Van Gundy (the coach Dwight now claims to like) and General Manager Otis Hill. Team President Bob Vander Weide, a DeVos son-in-law, got the axe for calling Dwight in the early hours one morning (hic!), urging him to stay.
Remember how upset they were when Shaq bolted to the Lakers? At least, he got that done in a few weeks. Dwight took a year they’ll never forget.
Nets—The team he wanted to join, which spent all last season trying to make it happen. They had Howard refrained from opting in in March, Brooklyn could have signed him in the summer, but n-o-o-o….
By opting in, to get the heat off, before deciding once more that he wanted to join the Nets, he gave the Magic control. Loathing to send him to an East team, they turned down various Nets proposals, until Deron Williams told them to get someone or he’d sign with Dallas. The Nets re-signed Brook Lopez, filling up Howard’s slot and accrued Joe Johnson, owed $70 million for three more seasons, through age 34. Otherwise, the Nets could have signed Dwight this summer!
So, if you’re wondering why the Nets are so old, the Magic is starting over and the Lakers became a laughingstock….They don’t make saviors the way they used to.