You probably thought the story had come to its rightful conclusion. The Los Angeles Lakers traded for Dwight Howard, making him the cornerstone of their franchise for years to come. Maybe not. After a recent loss, Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant’s tumultuous relationship reached new heights, when Kobe called out the Lakers’ big man for being soft. Howard had to be restrained from going after his teammate. According to the NY Daily News:
“Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant just can’t get along, and there’s a team in Brooklyn that might be waiting to pick up the pieces. A league source said that the Lakers stars got into a heated exchange following a New Year’s Day loss to the 76ers, and Bryant went for a low blow – referencing and agreeing with Shaquille O’Neal’s criticisms of Howard being soft.”
First of all, anyone who thought that these two players had any chance of getting along is out of their mind. Pairing a ruthless competitor like Kobe, to a sensitive free-spirit in Howard was destined to fail. More importantly the Lakers have now lost three straight and even with the return of point guard Steve Nash, don’t seem any closer to figuring this thing out. It’s only logical to assume that they look to get trade value out of Howard before potentially losing him to free agency after the season.
During the off-season, Dwight Howard went on record saying Brooklyn was his preferred choice. The Nets spent much of last year trying to finalize a deal in order to bring the Orlando big man to New York. Expect Mikhail Prokhorov’s team to once again send an enticing package that will allow Dwight Howard and Deron Williams to play together. The two players are long time friends who have talked about playing together for years.
If Brooklyn were to make a proposal, their hot tradable commodity would be center Brook Lopez. Lopez can’t be traded until Jan. 15 because he signed a four-year, $61 million deal in the summer. He’s having an outstanding season and appears to be one of the more underrated players in the league, averaging 18.9 points and 7.4 rebounds. The Nets have now won five of their last six games, and are starting to hit their stride under new head coach P. J. Carlesimo.
Celtics’ fans, whatever ends up happening with Dwight Howard, let’s take the time to rejoice in how poorly the Lakers are playing right now. It’s not often we see a team led by Kobe Bryant under achieve by such great lengths. If Howard staying with them means that L.A. will keep losing games, I say sign him to a monster contract.