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Report: Dwight Howard has change of heart, would re-sign with Lakers

Jul 19, 2012, 3:45 AM EST

Orlando Magic v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

Lakers fans, go ahead and celebrate this news. But know one key thing — this doesn’t bring the trade any closer to reality.

Still, one of the questions out there in the proposed trade scenarios to get Dwight Howard to the Lakers was the concern he would not re-sign in Los Angeles. And in the past his people have said as much. But he has had a change of heart. That according to the well connected Jarrod Rudolph on twitter.

Sources: Dwight Howard is ready to join Lakers. If traded to Los Angeles Howard will re-sign long-term with team after 2012-13 season.

Chris Broussard of ESPN confirmed this, adding that Howard is now very focused on LA. Again, it’s good news for Lakers fans.

Now, let me throw some cold water on the celebration.

The Lakers willingness to make a move has never been the holdup in getting a deal done — they have been ready to make a trade even without a commitment long-term from Howard. They thought he would come around.

And they’re right — Howard has shredded his public image through this process. He cannot get traded somewhere, play out the string and become a free agent, then start the bidding/rumor cycle again. That would make LeBron James‘ decision look brilliant. Howard has to lock down wherever he goes.

What has held up things has come down to getting Andrew Bynum to commit long term. The Lakers All-Star center is in the last year of his deal and has resisted committing to re-sign in Orlando, which kills a two-team deal.

So the teams have reportedly brought in Cleveland (or maybe Houston) for a three-team deal that sends Bynum to the Cavs with Kyrie Irving (Bynum said he would re-sign there, but saying it and putting pen to paper are different things). In this deal, Anderson Varejao and picks go to Orlando, but is that enough for them? After what they have turned down before? Is that better than the Rockets offer?

All reports have called the three-team talks “preliminary.” As in shaky and a long way from done. And there are questions about how to balance salary (if Cavs take in Bynum but only ship out only Varejao, need more salary to make that work). And from the start, Orlando has been in no rush.

If this doesn’t move fast, the Lakers may spin and just work on re-signing Bynum and keeping that going. ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Ramona Shelburne emphasized this:

Orlando, while willing to trade Howard, is not in a rush. The Magic will wait until they get a deal they like. The Lakers remained dogged in their pursuit of Howard late into the night Wednesday and plan to continue discussions into Thursday, a league source told ESPNLosAngeles.com, but the longer the process drags on, the more it complicates their other offseason business and forces them to consider moving on.

 

Bottom line: talks will get serious soon — and the Magic do not seem to be moving fast — or this house of cards will crumble, too.

But at least we know Howard is good with it now.

103 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. charlescub80 - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Howard is a clown.. Beep, Beep, Honk, Honk…

  2. notoriousbri - Jul 19, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    i hope its not just me.. but is anyone else sick of this guy? i wanna stay in orlando.. i dont wanna stay.. i wanna play with williams.. but i opt in with orlando.. they tricked me.. i wont sign with LA.. I will sign with LA.. how is this guy NOT worse than Favre or Lebron’s “decision”? Is it because he smiles all the time? No respect for Dwight and the way he has handled this. You have the right to want to play anywhere you wish.. When you are a free agent you can sign with whoever wants to sign you for whatever money you negotiate. You got your GM and coach fired and now you will take a trade to LA and re sign because the Nets have no use for you now. Yawn.. wake me up when th is ride is over.. PLEASE.

  3. chadinkc30 - Jul 19, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    The problem is these small market teams try to be good through the draft, & frankly that’s stupid, because the draft is ridiculously overrated! The Nets for example just got good by trading away picks & spending money. U know that green paper that every owner has plenty of….

  4. loungefly74 - Jul 19, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    the deal has a strong possibilty of happening. i’m sure there will be some tweeking but the end result will be Howard in LaLaLand. As a Laker fan…I will instantly embrace Howard coming over. I will miss Bynum but this is a business…and Howard is the best “5” in the league (though Bynum is 2nd best…) so I completely understand the trade. But…trade or no trade, I’m happy with our center.

    If Cleveland got Bynum? holy cow! they get big time instant cred! that would be an exciting line-up. find someone to play SF and the Cavs are set for 5 years…

  5. fordmandalay - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    This whole conversation is meaningless – even if the trade is made, Commissioner Scumbag … er, Stern, will step in to nullify it because it’s the Lakers, after all.

    • gpatrick15 - Jul 19, 2012 at 1:15 PM

      Yeah, except Stern and the league doesn’t own the Magic like he did the Hornets at the time.

  6. clownsfan - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    Dwight Howard is a bitch. Period.

  7. mikey1977 - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Diva Howard and Lebron James are shining examples of what is terribly wrong with the modern day NBA. That’s the bottom line. The NBA should just contract to a 6 team “big market” product”. …then all the balla’s can go play for Jay-Z, Usher, and the like. This league is getting disgustingly pathetic.

  8. fiyeaglesfiy - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    As someone that watches almost every Laker game, personally, I think that Bynum is a lot closer in talent to Dwight than the casual basketball fan would believe. Offensively he has better touch, post moves, and free throw shooting than Dwight. Defensively, while he’s not the perennial defensive player of the year nominee like Dwight, he’s a a pretty solid anchor to that Lakers d (remember that 10 block game in the playoffs). He’s also bigger, younger, and – after the both get max deals next offseason- likely slighty cheaper. Bynum is also more familiar with Brown’s system and works well in space and with Pau Gasol. I’d give Dwight the slight edge due to freak athleticism and quickness (which would be helpful against teams like the thunder and heat). Both have injury risk.

    To me the big upgrade to Howard from Bynum isn’t on the court, it’s off the court. In terms of marketability, Howard is leaps and bounds ahead of Bynum. He can sell more jerseys and tickets and post-Kobe can be the face of the franchise and attract other big name free agents to come play alongside him. The change also gives the Lakers some short term as Jim Buss and company have watched Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and the Clippers slowly start stealing their market share in LA.

    The downside is, if Dwight truly wants to be “the man” can he coexist with Kobe? Or if they have issues down the road, will the Lakers side with the younger Dwight to and aging Kobe as they did with a younger Kobe to an older Shaq? I think that would be something no Laker fan wants to see.

    • cmehustle - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:23 PM

      I absolutely agree 100% with you. I mean yea Dwight has a bigger name but in reality what are the Lakers really getting differently? Better defense, but not by a huge difference. Slightly worse offense? Cleveland is the team who really makes out in this trade sequence.

      • telergy - Jul 19, 2012 at 1:26 PM

        Wow …

        Dwight is a 3 time DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR. HE IS 10x MORE ATHLETIC THAN BYNUM. Dwight plus Nash in a pick and roll might be the greatest combination of pick and roll in the entire league.

        lol His FG% is > 50. His technique is not as great as Bynum but his results are better…and thats all that matters right? Of course his FT shooting is atrocious.

        Cleveland makes out in long run but short run Lakers will be stacking 2-3 titles

      • ccshocktalk - Jul 19, 2012 at 1:45 PM

        the reason his FG percentage is 50% and it is because he wont shoot the ball unless it’s going to be a dunk.

        LA stacking 2-3 titles because of Dwight? Isn’t Dwight the same guy that put a very well balanced Orlando team “on his shoulders” and lost to the Lakers when Bynum was barely out of high school…

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 19, 2012 at 3:37 PM

        Dwight Howard is the #1 rebounder in the NBA. In fact, he led the league in many statistical categories, while Andrew Bynum did not lead the league in ANY categories, but was second in blocks, which doesn’t suck. Bynum was surrounded by superior Laker talent as compared to Howard in Orlando. Getting Howard would be like upgrading from Volkswagen to BMW. Too bad both have a tendency to break down with very expensive repair bills.

      • ldj5000 - Jul 19, 2012 at 5:47 PM

        bynum is a very good player but people need a reality check. dwight howard is an mvp caliber player and the second most dominant force in the game. he’s not just a better defender, he can shut teams down. and probably the best rebounder in the game. add to that his offense which tho not as refined as bynum, scores the same if not more points and just as efficiently, and he’s improving his moves every year still.

        lakers biggest problem last year: lack of athleticism. howard is the most freakishly and effectively athletic player on the planet not named lebron.

    • gpatrick15 - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:27 PM

      All good points. I don’t think Howard would mind playing alongside Kobe, especially with the acquisition of Steve Nash to distribute the ball evenly to whoever’s open. I love Kobe as a ball player, but the days of him jacking up inefficient shots ended the day the Nash deal went through, and he’ll benefit as much as anyone. I think Howard will appreciate being able to put up his 20ppg and not be the focal point of the other teams defense, since Nash, Kobe, and Pau will keep the defense honest.

    • clickablecontent - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      Well stated – not just that I agree.

  9. spedman24 - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    Why when the Nets were on the brink of getting Howard was everyone complaining that it wasn’t fair…yet it’s ok to restock the lakers for another ten years. #NBAsucks

    • ccshocktalk - Jul 19, 2012 at 1:47 PM

      re-stock the Lakers for another ten years? Just how long do you think Kobe, Nash and Pau are going to be in the league? Kobe may retire in the next two, per his own statement (doubtful, but he did say it), Pau wont be on the Lakers once his contract is up and Nash may be there for 3 years max…3 years they may be solid, but 10? That’s quite the far fetch…

    • tanna456 - Jul 19, 2012 at 1:50 PM

      Because Laker fans think that THEY are the only team that can restock and reload, or have a Big Three, etc…. They are very one-sided that way. When Miami came together they complained, when Boston got their Big Three they complained. People in LA, (not all people) seem to think that the world starts and ends at the borders of LA. It’s weird and a bit nauseating……..

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 19, 2012 at 3:38 PM

        You telling me there’s a world east of the California border?

  10. mogogo1 - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    About the only thing Howard has said in the past couple years that made any sense to me was his not wanting to follow in Shaq’s footsteps for his entire career. So, naturally, he’s changed his mind about that, as well.

  11. canehouse - Jul 19, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    so the lakers offered dwight a box of starwars and super hero toys, and a lifetime supply of pop tarts, chicken nuggets and mac n cheese… and he said he would resign. sounds about right

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 19, 2012 at 3:39 PM

      If they threw in unlimited CALIFORNIA avocados it was a good deal.

  12. lakerluver - Jul 19, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    The LAKER HATERS are shaking in their boots over the possibility of this deal happening!! Come on, Mitch, GET IT DONE!! I see two more rings for Kobe, and two for Nash. Then after they both ride off into the sunset, my beloved LAKERS will STILL have a 28 yr old Howard and millions freed up for an elite free agent or two. The LAKERS just keep reloading, HATERS!!!!!!!!

    • tanna456 - Jul 19, 2012 at 1:54 PM

      You are right about one thing; I HATE the Lakers. Not a hater though, (they are different). I hate the fans more than I hate the team. OBNOXIOUS!!!!

    • loungefly74 - Jul 19, 2012 at 1:55 PM

      i tell ya lakerluver…we are some lucky S.O.B’s being Laker fans…

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 19, 2012 at 3:41 PM

        You guys ain’t that lucky: LA traffic sucks as bad it has ever sucked, and every asshole from the rest of the USA, especially New Yawk a-holes, seems destined to end up in SoCal. I heard you’ve got something against illegal immigrants, too. Wonder why?

      • loungefly74 - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:49 AM

        @jimeejohnson. I was referring to only being laker fans. yes…Cali has some major issues, you are correct. heck, we could probably compile a list 1000 pages long with what’s wrong..but yeah, just as laker fans is what i meant.

    • bougin89 - Jul 19, 2012 at 2:00 PM

      This deal is still a long shot from happening. This will still be a complex deal as Orlando will require the Cavs to take on a few bad contracts and I can’t see them doing that unless Bynum agrees to sign an extension with Cleveland which at this point also looks like a long shot. IF it happens you have to think the Lakers jump back to being one of the 2 or 3 favorites to win a championship next year but thats one BIG IF.

  13. sweetk24 - Jul 19, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Cavs all the way next year baby!!!!

  14. mikey1977 - Jul 19, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    I loved the NBA…that’s before it before it became gangsta and hip hop douche bags started to buy into the leagues teams…by the way to the poster above….in MLB the talent isn’t so lopsided. Gee..a Lakers Heat Final….? Who could’ve guessed….face it man the NBA product is broken and needs fixing…that’s why it’s a distant 3rd to the NFL and MLB.

  15. trimaster1 - Jul 19, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Kobe wants the ball. Dwight wants the ball. Can they coexist? That’s the big question. Yes, Dwight will be a defensive force, but so was Bynum. Will Kobe pass the ball to him? I think Nash will for sure, but how will Kobe feel about not throwing up more shots than any other Laker like he’s used to doing? Gasol felt slighted by Kobe, how do we think Dwight will feel when he’s used to being the focal point and main go to guy?

    Or maybe Dwight just wants out of the East because he feels he can’t get to the Finals there?

    To make a short story shorter, i don’t see them getting a ring together.

  16. jimeejohnson - Jul 19, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Dwight: the REAL DisneyLand’s in Southern California. The one in Orlando is a poseur. Yeah, right! Seriously, Dwight, do you want to remain in that humid, right wing, totally backwards and flat and boring Orlando, or do you want to go to the American Mediterranean, complete with movie stars and mountains, the Pacific Ocean, and avocados that put Florida’s watery avos to shame? You decide, but I will tell you: the Palm trees are better, everything’s better, west of Interstate-5. Go west young man! Blow off the old, stale, crowded, uptight East is a beast coast. Unless you want to play for the Celtics. Can you believe I like the Lakers AND the Celtics? Whadya mean, “no”?

    In reality, it’s not the teams I favor but the geographic regions (Pacific Coast / New England Coast).

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 19, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      That’s the only time I have ever given my own post a thumbs up. That’s how strongly I feel about it, Dwight. You need to get the f-ck outta Orlando and make it to the Promised Land.

    • ccshocktalk - Jul 19, 2012 at 4:35 PM

      Lets be real, who in their right mind would say living in a state that is broke, has their state employees going on minimum wage, pays people with IOU’s, one of the highest infiltration rates of illegal immigrants and Hispanic gangs….yeah, I can totally see how that is better than a state with no state taxes, where you are never further than 60 miles from the gulf of mexico or the atlantic ocean, and one of the only places on earth that has gators and crocs coexisting…it doesn’t seem like a tough call to me…I’ll take Florida and more money than an in debt, broken down state like California any day of the week.

  17. mikey1977 - Jul 19, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Those of you who do not live in the state of FL need to seriously close your mouths before you trash the state….besides….why waste your breath? Diva 12 has already said he’ll re-up in smog city…..oh okay…you’re all afraid he may change his mind again… By the way, LA also boasts one of the nations highest unemployment rates….(to poster somewhere above)

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 21, 2012 at 10:45 AM

      On an ice cold winter’s day up north there’s nothing like a day in the Sunshine states of Florida and California. Anybody who chooses Brooklyn over Los Angeles is either a native New Yawker of a stupid ass. I know what you’re thinking: there’s not much difference between a New Yawker and a ….!

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