Another offseason, another year of Dwight Howard drama.
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, Howard is unlikely to remain with the Lakers. Citing a source, Broussard says “Howard unlikely to re-sign with the Lakers. Dallas and Houston the favorites” and that the “main issue [with the] Lakers is Mike D’Antoni’s system.”
Howard did have his worst statistical season since his second year in the league (2005-’06), but still managed to average 17.1 points, 12.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game despite a slew of injuries.
Before Howard’s injury, he had developed into one of the best players in basketball and easily the best defensive force in the game.
Broussard points out Dallas and Houston are now the favorites to land Howard. Dallas is clearly a great place to play and recently won a title, but their star, Dirk Nowitzki is 35 years old and their complimentary pieces are nearly as good as they once were. Houston’s star, James Harden, is just 23 years old. Plus, Houston has nice pieces to surround Harden and Howard with like big man Omer Asik, swingman Carlos Delfino, point guard Jeremy Lin and forward Chandler Parsons. They also have younger players like power forwards Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejunas they can develop.
Although the Lakers would love to keep Howard and build around him, if they’re going to actually lose a star, now is the time. With Kobe Bryant expected to miss at least part of the season, a poor record could put the Lakers in the lottery and give them a shot at a future star in the loaded draft class of 2014.
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