Known as Orlando Magic’s star center and Superman (sorry Shaq), Dwight Howard has made it known he wants out of Orlando. He is “requesting” a trade. No longer does he want to be with Stan Van Gundy, the Magic’s three-point shooters, and the town that embraced him as a young 18 year old.
The Magic’s intentions with Dwight Howard have been anything but clear. There have been reports that they have been shopping Howard around and at one point even struck a deal with New Jersey. On the other hand, sources have also said the Magic have no intention of moving Howard before the trade deadline.
With Dwight making his comments that he wants to be traded, he severely hurts the Magic’s ability to find a fair deal since teams consequently know the Magic have a disgruntled player on their hands that needs to be moved. Howard is tied to this Orlando team and should be compliant while under contract. He doesn’t own the Magic and doesn’t make their decisions – or isn’t supposed to.
What about the effect it has on his teammates? All NBA teams go through slumps, but by coming together and leaning on their leader, good squads can face adversity and usually get out of bad stretches. Losing five of the past seven games, the Magic are in one of these slumps. So, when Dwight calls out his teammates for not trying, how can they take him seriously? Why would they listen to the man that selfishly “demands” a trade one second and then turns around to criticize his teammates’ play the next? It hurts team chemistry and the progress of a franchise.
I believe this NBA offseason and season have shown a flaw in Dwight Howard’s maturity. Yes, he has a very entertaining personality, but that doesn’t directly translate into leadership. Until this 2011-2012 season comes to a close, Howard should be the leader the Magic expect him to be, but I am becoming skeptical he can do this as he makes more and more comments.
Even though NBA players often speak their minds with no repercussions, I don’t believe the type of statements D12 puts out there should be allowed. For a player to publicly proclaim that he wants to be traded from an organization isn’t fair to his team. So, what is the solution to stop players like Shaquille O’Neal, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard from forcing their team’s hand? Fines seem like the only reasonable solution. Players would avoid making such harmful statements and this “cat-and-mouse” game would stop for good.
Whether you agree or disagree with how Howard is handling himself, movement is inevitable. Here are the places he could possibly land and what they will need to happen for the three-time NBA Defensive Man of the Year to command their paint.
The Los Angeles Lakers need…
to mark March 15th on their calendar. In order to bring the second Orlando Magic all-star center to Hollywood, the Lakers have to make an attempt at a trade for Dwight Howard. If Howard becomes an unrestricted free agent, the Lakers will not be able to compete with the other teams who have the cap space to take part in the Decision: Part II. They have to use their skilled players (mainly Andrew Bynum) and not their money to bring in this 26-year-old. Once the trade deadline passes in March, Los Angeles’s hopes of bringing another superstar to their city will be all but destroyed (again).
The New Jersey Nets need…
Deron Williams and Dwight Howard to take a tour of Brooklyn… together. Next year, these New Jersey Nets and Jay-Z will be moving the organization to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. This new look and feel for the Nets will be their primary incentive for Howard to join the team since wins can’t and won’t be a guarantee with this move. However, if Deron Williams decides he wants to re-sign with the Nets, it becomes likely D12 would seriously consider moving north. It will be all or nothing for these
New Jersey Brooklyn Nets next offseason.
The Chicago Bulls need…
the media to stop creating a trade for them. ESPNChicago put out a story this week pointing out that Howard would be “open” to play with the Chicago Bulls and Derrick Rose, which turned into the Bulls being added to contending teams for the big man. Oh wow, someone out there wants to play with the reigning MVP and the #1 team in the Eastern Conference – what a surprise. Simply because a reporter confronted Howard about possibly playing for the Bulls, and he said he would consider it doesn’t directly translate into Chicago being interested in him. The Bulls went to the Eastern Conference Finals last year, currently stand at 18-6, and have a winning formula set in place for many years to come. Dwight Howard is not a part of that plan.
The Orlando Magic need…
a championship. It’s plain and simple for the Orlando Magic. Without a championship ring on Dwight Howard’s finger after this season, there isn’t a possible outcome leading to D12 re-signing with the team he has been with for his entire career.
The Dallas Mavericks need…
to become Orlando Magic fans. In the Mavericks’ situation, they don’t have the pieces to make a trade for Howard. The only way D12 will be doing the D-Town boogie is by means of a signing during this summer’s free agency. With each successive loss and negative statement made by someone connected to the Magic organization, the likelihood of a Dwight Howard trade increases. The Mavs don’t want a trade. They want the Magic to be just successful enough that they believe they can make a run for the championship this year. This would keep them from giving up on Howard and the current team, leading to #12 becoming an unrestricted free agent in July. If that is the case by the time this summer roles around, Mark Cuban will have a chance to make the biggest free agency signing his organization has ever seen.
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