Around The World (Wide Web): Free Agency Day 2

Ryan Cole —  July 2, 2013

From Gabriel Lee, Lakers Nation: Dear Dwight Howard, By the time you read this, you would’ve had your meeting with the Houston Rockets already. And presumptively, they promised you the world. A chance to be the man again in a city where there’s no income tax. An opportunity to be surrounded by younger, more athletic players than you were in Los Angeles. Most importantly, they likely sold you on the prospect of a fresh start. The meetings you will have with Atlanta, Dallas and Golden State will be more of the same. They will try to capitalize on the power of now, the lingering emotions of guilt and failure that you’ve been dealing with since your first season with the Los Angeles Lakers ended in a first round sweep.

From Ramona Shelburne, ESPN LA: By dinnertime on Tuesday night it will finally, and fittingly, be on Dwight Howard. After three years of waiting, of wanting, of worrying about his future, Howard will finally be able to decide something and hopefully quickly move on into what comes next, wherever that may be. Despite the best efforts of Howard and his representatives not to create a frenzy around his meetings with the Rockets, Hawks, Warriors, Mavericks and Lakers this week, this process has been every bit the circus as what LeBron James went through in 2010. It’s just been drawn out over a longer period, rather than condensed into a wild two weeks and made-for-TV announcement special. It has certainly been just as damaging to his reputation. And yet as the process comes to a close finally, there’s a palpable sense amongst all involved that the immediate emotional reaction to whatever Howard decides will not be despair or elation, but rather relief.

From ActuariallySound, Silver Screen & Roll: With free agency officially underway, the Dwight Howard 24-hour news cycle has begun. Pundits from around the country will weigh in on where he should go and why he should go there. In ESPN’s latest edition of 5-on-5, four of the five responders chose Houston as the best place for Dwight with the fifth splitting his choice between LA and Houston. The consensus was that Houston was a much better fit with a young James Harden and a solid supporting cast of shooters to give Howard the space he needs to thrive. The biggest advantage the Lakers had over Houston was the ability to offer more money. Unfortunately, that may be the biggest myth perpetuating the discussion right now, for it is Houston that can actually offer Howard the most money.

From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: The Lakers finally get their time with Dwight Howard, meeting with him Tuesday and trying to persuade him to stay with the franchise for five more years. They will sell themselves as the 16-time NBA champions — how could they not? — and they also subtly will remind him Steve Nash is the only player currently under contract after next season. As in, there’s a massive shopping spree on the way in a year. They are expected to meet at a Beverly Hills location, not the Lakers’ facility, a minor example of Howard’s making the mountain come to the man. The Lakers considered adding some of their legendary names to the meeting but decided against it, looking toward the future instead of the past.

From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: Before Kobe Bryant went down with his Achilles tendon injury, he sounded like a guy who wanted to play another year, maybe two, then hang them up. He dropped all kinds of hints about that. Now he is changing his tune. Kobe sat down for an interview with Mike Trudell of Lakers.com and talked about his legacy and how his injury has changed his perspective and how he wants to stick around. “I feel pretty damn confident I can be at a high level for at least another three years. I feel like how I was playing last year – I know I’ll be healthy and I’ll be ready to go this year – I know what I can bring. And I think I can easily do that for another three years.

 

Ryan Cole

Posts

58 responses to Around The World (Wide Web): Free Agency Day 2

  1. Wish I had audio access to the Sales Job that the Organization will be pitching to Dwight today. Particularly D’Antoni & Kobe, in light of the report last week that it was highly unlikely Dwight would return to L.A. because he felt marginalized in D’Antoni’s offense and couldn’t stand playing with Kobe. The latest reports, right in the middle of our all out recruitment for Dwight’s services, that Kobe now wishes to play an additional 2 seasons (on top of this coming season) makes the meeting even more intriguing.

    When it’s all said and done, I hope we can pull this out because as I and several others within this FB&G Community has mentioned, add nuseum, losing Dwight would be catastrophic. Jim, Mitch, Kobe, Nash and whoever else is part of our contingent need to work their magic. Hopefully, having the last (and surprisingly, first) word with Dwight pays off.

  2. For Warren!

  3. catastrophic is a stretch. If I had to choose CP3 or DH, I would take CP3, given the current laker roster. Stern screwing us out of that was catastrophic. If DH leaves, you basically throw this year out the window and start building after that. sucks for kobe, but i think he wanted dh with conditions and that’s not gonna work.

    but how much leeway should dh get with an ft % under 50? and very few post up moves?

    I’ve said this before, but does anyone really think that mchale is a better coach than d’antoni? The Rockets roster is younger, but they will make mistakes and I don’t really see mchale being the coach to correct that. They have no real closer, unlike the lakers and mavs.

    Carlisle is a better coach than d’antoni, but obviously the roster is older.

    The turmoil in the FO doesn’t help matters, but I’ll be really interested in hearing DH’s explanation for his decision. He doesn’t strike me as the guy with the sharpest bball iq.

    No matter what team he chooses, the biggest barrier to him getting a title is himself. I understand the logic of him getting a max contract, but he’ll won’t get close to a title unless he improves his approach to the game, fundamentally and intellectually.

  4. This article is behind a paywall so I havent even read it but the headline and the fact that it is written by cap guru larry coon tells us enough

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/9443944/nba-lakers-mike-dantoni-dwight-howard

  5. Agree with trianglefan…the CP3 thing basically put the kibosh on a realistic chance of another title in the Kobe era. NOT a fan of Howards although I see his value in the defensive area. I think he’s lost a lot of athleticism with the back injury and I don’t know if he’ll ever be the same. He’s not a guy who can muscle his way in to the paint if he can’t outjump people. He’s got a rudimentary offensive game as well. FT”s are a disaster. His mental toughness is questionable to say the VERY least. He isn’t exactly Larry Bird or Magic ..is he? in that dept of wanting it more than anything. If he goes , it hurts though. But I am not one of those who believe a title with Kobe is possible . I’m ready for a rebuild with lots of cap room. Find a guy who WANTS To be a Laker.

  6. Agreed Tra, definitely crossing my fingers that we keep Dwight. Losing him would be a tough blow for sure. I wonder whether it’s really about D’antoni and his system. Seems like Houston and GS (2 possible suitors) run an even more up tempo system.

    I think it’ll really come down to talent, which beyond their aging stars, the Lakers have precious little of. This post breaks down pretty well how lakers front office let that happen:

    http://leaguebeats.com/2013/07/01/how-the-grinch-kupchak-stole-draftmas-other-draft-thoughts/

    Hopefully Dwight can be convinced that we can add more talent in 2014.

  7. Robert: HAHAHAHAHAHA! Hilarious!

  8. No matter what team he chooses, the biggest barrier to him getting a title is himself. I understand the logic of him getting a max contract, but he’ll won’t get close to a title unless he improves his approach to the game, fundamentally and intellectually.
    ==

    People said this sort of thing about Lebron James, Kobe, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett, Shaq, David Robinson, Wilt…

    Howard will win a title if and when he gets on a team that has enough talent to do so and has a good coach, even if he never changes a thing about either his game or his personality.

  9. Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler will go to the Suns, Jared Dudley and JJ Redick to the Clippers and 2 2nd-round picks to Bucks, sources tell Y

    –Wojnarowski

  10. Wow that’s crazy! Would’ve guessed that Bledsoe would have garnered more in return. Those guys are a decent return though….Should be one hell of a shooting Clips team.

  11. Arnovitz (a Clipper fan) is ecstatic about the deal, and Haberstroh is snarking the Lakers about it.

    It adds some badly needed shooting, but at present, they do not have particularly good defensive personnel.

    That said, the Clippers are serious contenders for 2014.

  12. That’s a fantastic trade for the Clips. I would have taken Afflalo over Reddick alone, but Reddick + Dudley makes this a good deal – Dudley is a very underrated jack-of-all-trades player. They still need a wing to deal with the Lebron/Durant position, but that’s a very good deal and balances their roster.

    Suns looking to move Dragic now…?

  13. Snoopy–

    Doubt it–I think they will probably play Bledsoe and Dragic together a lot.

  14. ramonashelburne ramonashelburne
    Nash: “i thought it was a very productive meeting. We talked about last year and how it can be built on”

  15. And now the Knicks are looking to make a run at Elton Brand.

    To review: last year, NY realized playing Melo at the PF slot made them a much more effective team. Then this offseason, they trade for a soft PF (Bargnani) and are looking to make a run at another. Neither of those PFs can play backup 5 like Kenyon Martin did.

    The slogan of the next CBA should be: “You can’t fix stupidity.”

    rr – Probably, although if I’m Mitch I’m calling McDonough weekly to gauge trade interest.

  16. For anyone not keeping up with a mini Bulls issue amid all the FA discussion, there’s an interesting conflict brewing between GM Gar Forman and Coach Thibs. Forman fired Thibs’ right-hand man Ron Adams over the head coach’s protests. Cited possible reasons are Adams disagreeing with personnel moves (can’t blame him, as the team was stripped down last year) and possible payback for Thibodeau drawing out his contract extension signing.

    “Respected NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo tweeted Monday that Forman’s and Thibodeau’s relationship was “easily the worst in NBA” between a GM and coach.”

    An interesting storyline, at the very least. Thibodeau is worth more to that franchise than any player not named Rose, and I’d personally argue he’s as important as Rose, just in different ways.

  17. I still think Dwight’s best move long term is to stay with the Lakers and take the challenge to become the next face of this franchise. Question is, does he have it in him?

  18. I’ve forgotten to post this for a few months. I’m on record for saying MDA’s only fault is pkaying his veterans too many minutes resulting in a season ending injury to Nash and a career altering injury to Kobe. I think MDA should be fired alone for ruining the end of Kobe’s career.

    However I find it funny the majority of media and fans get on MDA for his offense and wanting a stretch four to space the floor for Dwight. It’s so laughable because it was Phil Jackson who was the NBA genius who popularized the stretch 4 for championship basketball. Jackson was commited to Robery Horry for spacing and PNR defense at a time when the league had big bruising back to the basket PFs all over every top team in each conference. The Lakers would continuously et abused because Horry (a SF until Jackson) wasn’t big and strong enough to defend in the paint.

    Creating spacing for a dominant big man like Howard is crucial for creating a successful environment for a low post player to thrive in. That means a PF who can shoot from distance and slash to the basket. MDA should be fired… But only because he ruined the end of Kobe’s career and to allow the Lakers a chance to resign Dwight and sign LeBron next summer.

  19. Jeanie Buss ? @JeanieBuss

    @DwightHoward Lakers offer 1) best opportunities for your playing & post-playing career 2) have BEST fans 3) I’m here for you #STAYD12

  20. rr,
    It’s best to not respond to peope who aren’t at your level of basketball intellect. If someone doesn’t think a healthy Dwight Howard (who took a team single handedly to the Finals) isn’t a top 5 player (I think he is a top 2 player) then you probably don’t have much to talk about. I find it better to evolve a conversation upward rather than starting at zero and trying to bring someone along for the ride. Basically that means its more productive to argue with someone over who is better “LeBron or MJ” than argue who is better “LeBron or Melo”.

  21. Adrian Wojnarowski: Dwight Howard is leaving California for a few days to mull his free agency choice, league sources tell Y! Sports. Twitter @WojYahooNBA

  22. Ugh dont like that our meeting with dwight was half as long as his meeting with the mavs – look at what heppened with CP – the org did what he wanted and he committed – what have we shown dwight so far?

  23. Aaron: We have missed you. This is not like LeBron vs Melo. It is worse. It is Dwight vs Nothing and some are picking nothing.
    MannyP: I promise you that Shaun is not me posting under a different name.
    Snoopy: Thibs is probably the third best coach in the league right now, and coaching is extremely important (of course that is only after you have at least 2 superstars).
    rr: “People said this sort of thing about Lebron ……” Correct you are. They also said it about Kobe. That he would never win by being the main guy. And most who said it were Laker fans.

  24. As a Rockets fan,I’m stoked the Rockets have at least a 50/50 shot at landing Dwight.
    But the NBA fan in me wonders,HOW THE BLAZES IS THIS POSSIBLE???
    There is just no freakin way a player of Dwight’s caliber should be fleeing LA after one season.
    This isn’t KG wanting out of Minn,or even Dwight leaving Orlando.
    Just how dysfunctional has the ownership become?
    How could they be uncertain who was going to be in the meeting as late as yesterday?
    How the F was Jeanie absent,esp w/AEG and TW present? Is she sensing Dwight’s gone and didn’t want to be associated with it,leaving all the blame on her brother?
    Why didn’t LA try and take advantage of Boston’s firesale-Duhon,his buy-out,Goudelock or Morris for Courtney Lee? A friend of Dwight,a defensive SG who can guard PGs and SFs,make 3s,run the court and less than $6mil/yr.(2014 I know,but you still need the rest of a roster,Dwight,Nash and Lee would be less than $38mil.)
    There’s so much more-why D’Antoni for a team starting Kobe,Artest and Gasol-but I am still stunned by how bad Lakers Upper Management appears.

  25. I guess a few of the true basketball intellects on this site have decided that Trianglefan’s comment is completely wrong. So that means all the talk about players maturing and learning how to win, finding out what it takes in the offseason and in practice, is simply bs, right? And of coaching is completely irrelevant. Please.

    Of course talent on the team matters, but so do all the intangibles of leadership, of desire, and of preparation. As a top two talent, though, apparently none of that matters. Just surround him with talented players and all will be good.

    Wish I was smart enough to understand how these contradictory positions can be held at the same time…

  26. And of coaching is completely irrelevant

    Never said that. What I have said all along is that coaching, commitment, chemistry etc. all matter and in that post, I even mentioned coaching. But everything in the NBA starts with having elite talent, and we can see that with all the examples of the players I named, and we can also see it if we look at the history of the Lakers franchise. Howard is an elite talent, and it will hurt the Lakers very badly if he walks. Like I said the other day–it’s really pretty simple.

  27. If Dwight does depart (unlikely Imo) the headlines will blame Kobe for chasing off yet another big man.

  28. Stephen: You said you were stunned. After being stunned repeatedly, and you will become numb. Then you will know how I felt for most of the past season.

  29. haha, i can see that as a possibility @C.Hearn.
    it will somehow go down to Kobe as to why DH will leave… just like old times…

    honestly, i think DH will stay. by now, he should have realized that no matter how worse it turned out last year, Lakers is still the best place he can be at, with the highest chance of contending.
    HOU is a young team, with a coach not as good as D’Antoni (though D’Antoni is not really good, he’s just playing with good rosters… and has a flawed rotation scheme.)
    DAL is an old team, just like us, but I see our team beating them in any series.
    LAL though an old team, has always been a contending team. We have proven players whom DH can learn from. Last year was a nightmare, but it did not show our true team potential.

    its been three years that we’ve gone early exits, so by this or next year, we should be contending (longshot). With a healthy roster, we can definitely compete with the best teams out there. and next postseason, we’ll have cap space to sign a max player who can help DH and the rest of the remaining Lakers.

    of course, I am being positive…
    I will just wait on Howards decision.

  30. I am not sure why people think Kobe telling people that he can play longer will scare Dwight off.

    I would think it’s actually the other way around, because we’ve got absolutely nothing once Kobe’s gone in terms of elite talent, and since Dwight won’t have to take the blunt of the blame as Kobe somehow never achieved ‘untouchable’ status among us fans but instead gets blamed for just about everything. Another big possibility is Kobe re-signing for cheap after this contract just to get his ‘cracks at a ring.’ I don’t think he’ll sign for as small a pittance as Ray Allen did, but if he takes a big Nowitzkian cut… we have an entirely different set of possibilities.

    Dwight will be Dwight and he’ll try to prolong this process enjoying his time in the limelight, which is yet another reason I think he’ll stay. Besides, fleeing Mikan, Chamberlain, Abdul-Jabbaar and Shaq just to be compared to Hakeem and Yao really can’t be that much more appealing either (although both of them would be crazy tutors for Dwight’s post moves and FT).

    Also, I think the Time Warner piece with giving Dwight his own show may be the real kicker here. He loves attention, loves being adored, loves goofing around – wow, a TV show would take care of all of that.

  31. To compare dh to Kobe, Dirk, etc… That’s just an insult to the game of basketball. The lebron in Cleveland is not the same player with the heat. Same goes for Kobe and others listed. Shaq in Orlando was not the same player in la. He got better. I don’t think his game improved much in Miami, but it certainly went downhill after that, unlike Kareem, who took much better care of his body and mental approach to the game. How could Bynum outplay Howard in the last few years if Howard was so great? Because Bynum got better every year. He wasn’t stronger or faster than Howard. Anyone who thinks a top 5 player in the league shoots less than 50 percent at the ft line must be related to Dennis Rodman.

  32. ” … but I am still stunned by how bad Lakers Upper Management appears”

    ————————————————————————————————————–

    I’m only now starting to realize how far the Lakers have fallen … A Rockets fan is over here gloating!

    Prematurely, too, I might add.

    What next, are Bobcats fans going to be coming around?!

  33. To Stephen the Rockets fan,

    It’s incredibly easy to be on the outside looking in and making lots of judgments without knowing all the context. For example, this past season the Lakers pushed hard to win, even uncharacteristically so in terms of switching coaches, the MDA hire, bringing in Steve Nash, etc. Why? I believe Mitch or someone else mentioned that the franchise wanted to put ‘Showtime’ back together for Dr. Buss one last time because everyone felt like he was in fairly ill health (which turned out to be correct). This meant they did a lot of things that were unusual or faster than they normally would.

    Second, if you think something like the Lakers not taking advantage of the ‘Boston fire sale’ by grabbing Courtney Lee, please pause and think for a second. Of all the franchises in all of the NBA, would any one feel LESS like helping out the Lakers than the Celtics?

  34. A Rockets fan is over here gloating!

    Yeah, the internet term for that is concern trolling. That may not have been Stephen’s intention, but it pretty much came off that way. We had better get used to it.

    What people like Stephen forget is that there were very specific, personal reasons that the Lakers’ previous big man imports wanted to be here:

    Wilt–money. Jack Kent Cooke paid him 250K at a time when Jerry West was making 100.
    Kareem–went to college in LA. Was willing to join a weak team since he already had 3 college titles and ring in the NBA.
    Shaq–wanted to be in the movies

    None of that really applies to Howard. The money, as noted, is not huge. He has no ties to Los Angeles. He is interested in media/entertainment, but in the digital age you can do that more easily in non-LA settings than you once could.

  35. Stephen’s been commenting at this site and an observer of the Lakers since Kurt ran this site. Just thought I’d relay that information before people act like he’s an “outsider” who doesn’t keep up with the ins and outs of the team. (As an aside, the reason why there’s a commenter named “the other stephen” is because of the Stephen who commented above. And that concludes our FB&G site history lesson of the day.)

  36. Darius, I think most of us are aware; just that it’s impossible to tell without their IP if the poster is not using the same tone as they used to since we have no idea whether it’s him, somebody else with the same name or an intentional impostor.

    At any rate, we’ll have to see how this plays out. It’s not like Houston is loaded with killer 3 pt shooters to give DH space in the paint either.

  37. To compare dh to Kobe, Dirk, etc… That’s just an insult to the game of basketball.

    Nah. I am just pointing out that great players without titles are generally accused of having some deficiency in their mental makeup that is causing them not to win:

    Wilt-too selfish
    Robinson-too nice
    Shaq-too goofy
    Nowitzki-too soft
    Kobe-too selfish
    James-no killer instinct

    Then they win, and people explain it by saying that they changed, instead of looking at the whole context of the teams they were on, etc.

    Howard is a player with a couple of frustrating weaknesses, and as P. Ami put it, a corny sense of humor and a childish personality. Also, because of the organization’s long history of success, many Lakers fans seem to have this idea that every player should be dying to play here and that anyone who doesn’t is somehow deficient in character.

    But if you bail the emotions and look at the actual evidence, Howard is an outstanding two-way player, and the Lakers will be damaged tremendously if he walks. If he were such a loser and a guy who would have a problem winning a title without changing, it seems unlikely that Jerry West, Mitch Kupchak, Kobe Bryant, Mark Cuban, Daryl Morey, Dirk Nowitzki, and Hakeem Olajuwon, among many others, would be so interested in having him on their teams.

  38. I am not sure why people think Kobe telling people that he can play longer will scare Dwight off.

    I think because Howard wants to shoot more, because Howard wants to be the center of attention, and he never will be as long as Kobe is playing here, and because he and Kobe are very different kinds of guys.

    Also, Comcast, which is connected to the Rockets, supposedly talked to Howard about a TV show if he signs there.

  39. rr, i often agree with your points, but your description of other great centers’ reasons for being here confused me.

    Wilt was traded here, although JKC did give him $250,000
    Kareem was traded here, but only the first year’s team stunk. the next year they won the division only to lose to the eventual champion Walton Blazers. yes, he went to UCLA and that might have helped to keep him here. the paycheck certainly couldn’t have hurt either.
    Shaq actually chose LA. maybe the movies were the biggest attraction. maybe this is just a good place to win. the paycheck couldn’t have hurt either…

    nothing important, but if i’m confused, the children may have been mislead. it could also be Alzheimer’s kicking in.

  40. dh is past his prime. He cant win it all as the main man

  41. I don’t think any team with Howard as option A on offense can win the title. If he was going to ever be a dominant offensive player, he would have averaged more than 18 ppg to this point in his career.

  42. Yeah, it’s still an insult. I’m taking any of those players over Dwight. They all were better players, fundamentally and intellectually, when they were the same age as Dwight. If Dwight’s ft % was at least the same or a little higher than Shaquille, then you could feel a lot better keeping dh on the floor on a close game. Right now fouling dh gives you a better shot at winning a close game than not. You’re expending a lot if energy on the defensive end only to then not give the ball to Dwight on the offensive end? Thats great for the opposing team. That is something dh should know by now. If drew’s knees were not an issue, he would be better than Dwight. He can play d, hit fts, and actually has a post up move or two.

  43. I’m taking any of those players over Dwight

    Doesn’t matter. That’s not the choice. The choice, like Robert said, is Howard or nothing. And you didn’t actually address my point.

    Like too many Lakers fans, you are confusing how you feel about Howard with the value of what he does on the court.

  44. Dwight Comparison: It also must be noted that this conversation is comparing DH (1/2 way done with his career) to people who have had full careers. Think about what a Shaq comparison would have looked like in 1999. As rr states – he was not serious, too goofy, and would never win a title. DH is going to be remembered as great on the basis on his ASG appearances, All NBA Teams etc. Whether he reaches the upper echelon of all time greats depends on rings, which is the part that DH himself needs to understand.
    Stephen: I did not take your post as gloating. And this is ironic coming from me, because I despise all other teams and their fans are usually greeted with my venom. Rather I truly believe that you are amazed as to how all this is happening. I travel a lot as everyone knows, and people around the rest of the country are incredulous at how we do things. The coaching decisions, the relationships with both current and former players, the family in fighting, and the Laker fan love/hate relationship with Kobe. Trust me this looks quite a bit stranger from the outside looking in. Stephen probably is stunned. The rest of us are just used to it (or numb to it like I am).

  45. Mud,

    Wilt was at first a little reluctant to leave Philly, and the money helped to persuade him. He was also supposedly thinking of retiring, as he often did. Once Cooke said 250K, Wilt was on board. It may have just been a negotiating ploy, but still.

    Kareem wanted to play in Los Angeles or New York, where he was born. The Lakers put together a deal first, although the Knicks supposedly tried as well.

    Shaq we covered.

    The points are that

    1) The Lakers can’t offer Howard 40M a year, as they could if there were no salary cap (not that they would, but in any case they can’t).
    2. Howard has no ties to Los Angeles.
    3. As Brian Kamenetzky pointed out at the KBros blog, and as I said, while LA is still media/movie town, in the digital age, endorsements and those kinds of opportunities are also more spread to small markets. For example, my guess is that Howard would enjoy being in a kids’ movie like Kevin Durant was, and Durant was able to do that playing in OKC.

    So, some of the advantages that the Lakers had in acquiring the great big men of the past do not apply to the Howard situation, and as Robert and others have pointed out, there are serious questions about the people currently leading the Lakers.

    My personal opinion is that at the end of the day, Howard is a basketball player, and he wants to win, and if the Lakers had some quality, locked in, projectable, complementary talent on Howard’s timeline, all the other stuff (Kobe, MDA, Buss, fans, system etc) would be overruled by that, and Howard would stay here. But they don’t…so, as BK said today, that makes it a tough sell.

  46. Robert: We get it. You dislike the coach and Jim Buss. No need to recap every other post.

  47. Regardless of what we feel about Howard we have to admit that with the new CBA and the lack of skilled big men in the game, Howard holds all the cards. Tiago Splitter who got blocked by not just Lebron but Wade and Battier on multiple occasions in the finals just got signed to 4 years $36 million. Once that sinks in, you have to get over Howard’s flaws and admit that he is not only worth the Max but he is an essential piece.

  48. i think we’re all aware what the choice is. You need to understand what you are getting. it’s not about emotion. it’s about value. i didn’t make the comparison to other players, i just responded to it.

    i think if you read the posts a little closer, i never said to dump dwight. the choice is obvious, but you need to be clear about what you’re getting, based on what he’s done.

    if it’s all about winning, you gotta have a ft over 50%. that’s just basic.

  49. Robert/RR,
    It’s not Dwight or nothing. It’s Dwight or a lottery pick next year and another max FA next summer. But who is better? Dwight or Aldridge/Cousins/Bosh? Because if the Lakers don’t sign Dwight they will have cap room for LeBron and Melo or Paul Goerge and then the cap space Dwight left open where LA would go for Cousins or Bosh. I think it’s obvious Dwight is better than any other FA next year besides LeBron so its utterly stupid to not want to sign him right now.

  50. Btw… If it was up to me I would sign Dwight and have him say he needs to rest his back next year and have him sit out. I would have Kobe sit the year also to rehab. I would trade Gasol for any pics I could get or amnesty him. I would then get a great lottery pic (hopefully Wiggins) and come back next year with a star lottery pic, a healthy Kobe playing for the min, Dwight, LeBron, Paul Goerge, and Phil Jackson :)

  51. i’ll stand corrected. dwight’s career ft % is 57.7%. the last two years have been under 50%.

    Better than shaq’s career avg at 52.7% But shaq’s point average was much higher, and shaq was always criticized for his lousy free throw shooting.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/h/howardw01.html

    Hack-a-shaq was done for a reason. And it usually worked. They do the same thing to DH. The only way you truly beat that is to make your free throws.

  52. it will work out somehow. there’s not much reason for Dwight to leave, really. if he does, oh well. the Lakers will continue to try to build a good team.

    rr-as i said, most of your points are good, but there’s no reason for you to defend yourself on the issues i brought up. where were you in 1968, anyway? did you know those men back then to know what they were really thinking? i think you really just like arguing a point, but i’m not your opponent. i only pointed out the factual errors in your opinion since i was a fan during those periods. it’s ok to say, “my bad”. Kareem’s early Laker teams didn’t stink except for the first year, and both Kareem and Wilt were traded to LA. actually, admitting error strengthens your position as a man of veracity.

  53. i didn’t make the comparison to other players, i just responded to it.

    Wrong. The comp wasn’t about value; it was about narrative. You are selling a narrative as analysis. People have been doing that for 50 years; they were wrong, and so are you.

    As to the 50% FT/winning line, this is a franchise that won titles with Wilt and Shaq at the 5.

  54. did you know those men back then to know what they were really thinking? i think you really just like arguing a point, but i’m not your opponent.

    I never made any factual errors, because I never said that they weren’t traded here. All I said was that Kareem joined a weak Lakers team relative to the team Shaq did, since he wanted to be in NY or LA. and that Wilt was talking about retiring when JKC traded for him.

    I read books. That version of how Wilt came here was in John Taylor’s book about Russell and Wilt, and I have also seen it in a couple of books about the history of the Lakers. If you want to dismiss that and go off your own memory, or off other sources, be my guest.

    And, I know that Kareem was traded here–and that happened because he wanted out of Milwaukee. I have read that in books as well. And yes, I know that the Lakers went 40-42 his first year here, then improved, since in addition to reading books, I also use Basketball Reference.

  55. dude, they didn’t just improve in Kareem’s second year, they won the division and went to the conference finals where they lost to Walton’s Blazers who went on to win it all. this was with pretty much the same lineup as the year before. that’s not a weak team.

  56. rr. it’s always about value. sorry you don’t get it. it’s common sense stuff.
    dwight is his biggest obstacle to a title. he’s got to improve, and he didn’t seem to pick up too much from kobe this year.

    that’s basically what kobe told dh in the meeting today if you can read between the lines. if you want to be a franchise player, you have a lot to learn.

    dwight is a great two way player if you consider that to be rebounding and blocked shots. he’s a liability on the offensive end for the aforementioned reasons. do you really think kobe, or nash, or anyone else barreling down the lane with the game on the line is going to think about passing off to dwight underneath the basket? they’re just hoping he doesn’t get fouled before they can shoot the ball.

    your credibility takes another nose dive when you mention shaq and wilt. it’s just not the same comp. not even close.

    has it every occurred to you that all those guys begging to take dwight are the ones who think they can make him better? they’re selling a future, and I’m sure it’s on the premise that he’ll have to improve as player.

    Unless you agree with the one genius here who said Dwight was so great he got the finals practically all by himself. If you follow that logic, he should be in the finals every year and should still be in orlando.