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Next up for Dwight Howard: Mavericks, Lakers meetings

Jul 2, 2013, 11:22 AM EST

Dwight Howard AP

Sunday night the Rockets had their turn. Monday was long-shot day in the in the Dwight Howard pitch meetings as the Hawks and Warriors got to make their cases.

Tuesday it is the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Then we just sit back and wait for Dwight Howard to make his decision.

Dallas will bring to the presentation their persuasive owner Mark Cuban, superstar Dirk Nowitzki, team president Donnie Nelson, and coach Rick Carlisle.

The Mavericks’ pitch is how they plan to build the franchise around Howard, something that intrigues Howard because Cuban will spend to win. Dallas will sell they plan to make Howard the face of everything, how Dallas is a great city to be a star in. Cuban started laying the groundwork for this meeting not long after the Mavs won their 2011 title and he didn’t overpay to bring the team back together — he had a good idea what was coming with the new CBA and wanted a clean slate. But he needs to land a superstar and Howard is the only one left on the market this summer. Dallas can pitch that Nowitzki will take a pay cut next summer and they will stock the team with quality free agents who can win now.

Then comes the Lakers more complicated pitch effort.

Complicated because the Lakers basically had a year to sell Howard on the Lakers and yet here they are with a couple-hour meeting to do the same.

Complicated because Howard knows all the players in the room — coach Mike D’Antoni, GM Mitch Kupchak, owner Jim Buss, plus stars Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash — and all the baggage. He knows he is not a natural fit for Mike D’Antoni’s preferred system so there has to be compromise from the coach to make that work. He knows that he wants to be the face of the franchise but now Kobe is talking about playing three more seasons (and as long as he is around he is the face of the Lakers).

The Lakers can sell tradition (that matters to fans more than players), they can sell all the off-court advantages in Los Angeles (including maybe his own show on the Lakers’ cable partner).

But what they really need to sell is the future — after next season everyone except Nash and theoretically Howard comes off the books. The Lakers can completely remake this roster around Howard and build a new-look winner. Kobe will be back, but he will take a Tim Duncan/Kevin Garnett pay cut to help the Lakers build in the new salary cap reality. They sell Howard that the Lakers always find a way to win and if you win as the face of the Lakers you are an NBA legend. They sell legacy that way.

The conventional wisdom is that the Rockets and Lakers are the frontrunners for Howard, with the Mavs in the mix, while the Hawks and Warriors have little chance.

But this is Howard, he’s not the most decisive of guys, so this decision could go any way and could take a while (Howard is expected to think through the decision during the Fourth of July holiday, but nobody is sure when word will come down).

  1. dirtydavis - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    D12 will re-sign with the Lakers. You heard it here first

  2. wadecounty93 - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Laker fans should be happy that D12 does not want to play for them. I would not want him on my team although I would like to see him on the Rockets because I think they would be a better team and go deeper in the playoffs but I dont see D12 winning a ring in his career. Dallas should be out of the question because they dont have anyone besides Dirk. All im saying is Orlando got the best deal and now has a greta young talented team especially if they can pick up Bledsoe or a couple other pieces. I can wait for football season!

    • dirtydavis - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:41 PM

      Why should Lakers be happy??? We’re talking about a center that has plenty of gas in the tank. We’re talking about a center who is consider rare breed in modern day NBA. D12 should resign with the Lakers because they are the only team that can offer him the most…

      –2014 Kobe, Pau and other players are off the books… more money to spend on players WHO will accommodate and compliment D12 GAME. I am sure D12 will have an influence when it comes to recruiting.

      — more money for d12

      — better city than Houston/Dallas

      — The Lakers will be D12 team

      — If Lamar Odom ( bench player/six man) has a reality show.. I am sure D12 will get one, $hit he can rap too( better than “Slim Thug”) if he wants.

      D12 has chance to be a legend, so why would he settle for less?

      • kb2408 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:27 PM

        Well said, my friend.

      • aboogy123456 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:29 PM

        I’m with you dirtydavis, these guys just don’t get it and in a year we will be talking about how great it is that the lakers have howard!

      • iceturkee - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:07 PM

        dwine is only a legend in his own mind!!

      • iceturkee - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        if the lakers are going to be dwine’s team, you are in for a heap of trouble and disappointment. he showed his true colors after the last playoff game, when he stormed off the court. he couldn’t lead his way out of the bathroom, even with instructions attached.

      • eerock41 - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:13 PM

        La deserves the cry baby Howard. Lakers will never be his team as long as Kobe is around. Any one thinking Kobe is going to take a smaller contract after next year is fooling themselves. What will Howard’s show be about how to pay 6 different woman child support, just saying.

  3. lamptonsbarbershop - Jul 2, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    let him walk he can’t handle the pressures that come with being an Lakers great

  4. kb2408 - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    As a LAKER LUVER (wink, wink) I’m really having mixed feelings about this whole thing. I keep reflecting back to the Dwight we saw after Kobe went down and he had an opportunity to show all of LAKER nation that he was capable of carrying the team. Well, after the first game, he failed miserably. Now he wants to be the face of a franchise and its number one option. I’m not so sure that’s what the LAKERS should want. I’d love for him to stay but not as the number one option. At his best, he’s probably a 22 point scorer a night. Unless he improves greatly in the low post, and at the stripe, he should not be the 1st option on a championship team. Maybe on a team like Orlando that works but not in L.A. And Dwight has shown very little improvement offensively since he came into the league. I trust the LAKERS brain trust, but they have to know that Dwight can’t be the focal point of the offense after Kobe retires. Speaking of which, Kobe had a very profound statement regarding Dwight before he even became a LAKER. He said Dwight could do for the LAKERS what Tyson Chandler did for the Mavs. I agree completely. But Dwight could also give them 20 points a game, which is something Tyson could only dream of. The question is will he be content with not being “the man”? In Houston he won’t be the man. That’s Harden. Maybe he would be in Dallas but they won’t win anything. It will be Orlando all over again.

    • soflasfinest - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      Trust us we knew it was you bc you’re the only person who capitalized Fakers.

      • kb2408 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:23 PM

        I believe in offering respect when respect is due, sir. Thus, LAKERS it shall always be.

  5. elcapitanfiscal - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    The princess has arrived in Dallas..

    If Cubes offers jim a pony he’s ours

    • onlyavoice - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:23 PM

      LOL,
      No Big Has Signed With The Mavs & Don’t Expect Any Next Season.
      It’s Also Funny That The 1 Year Contract Players Want Out Also.

      • kilo0986 - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:48 PM

        …the one year contract players want out? LOL, They’re ONE YEAR PLAYERS, they have no choice but to be out stupid f****.

      • elcapitanfiscal - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:55 PM

        Don’t hate on my Mavs, what did they ever do to you?

  6. jonevans511 - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    I just can’t wait until the narcissism tour is over and this D-Bag decides which team will be blessed enough to have him in their uniform. I’m sick of it. Not just D-Howard, all players who feel the need to be pampered and courted like they’re the second coming of Jordan/Shaq/insert your favorite player’s name here.

    One thing is obvious: Howard must have some deep rooted self-esteem issues. One day he appears to want to win a ring, but the next he’s acting like a child that can’t decide which candy bar to buy.

    I realize Howard is not the first person to go through this ordeal, but he’s made himself out to be such a bay that he’s hurting his stock far more than he’s helping. What happens when he picks his destination, plays just ok (by his standards) for a couple years, and then gets pressured from the media for his lackluster performance? One thing he’ll never be able to say (at least not without eating sh*t for it afterwards) is “this just wasn’t/isn’t a good fit for me”. He has every opportunity to find the right team to quench his ego’s thirst.

  7. bucs24 - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Let him walk take one more bad season then rebuild

    • kb2408 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      That just might happen. But we all know the LAKERS will return better than ever. It’s the LAKER way.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        kb2408

        I’m not a Laker fan, but I’m reasonable… The Lakers had a great run under Dr. Buss. I don’t know the exact numbers off the top of my head but something like 16 finals appearances in 34 yrs. I give them much respect.

        Sadly, Dr. Buss is no longer with us and his son leaves a lot to be desired…

        Now, the Lakers might continue their championship ways… Might. Dr. Buss isn’t there anymore and simply because they are the Lakers doesn’t guarantee that they will continue their dominant run. Again, they could but Jim isn’t off to the best start.

        The Lakers are not in the same boat as they were 18 yrs ago, 12, yrs ago and 6 to 7 yrs ago. There is a new captain at the wheel and he doesn’t have the track record of the previous captain.

        You’re assuming that Jim will be able to duplicate what his father did. He might, but he might not. Under these circumstances, one can’t be positive…

      • eerock41 - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:16 PM

        not under the new CBA it is not.

  8. onlyavoice - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Didn’t The Lakers Already Show Dwight Their Best Hand Last Season
    & That’s Why He’s Looking at Other Teams.
    Lakers Need To Rebuild From Scratch If They Plan On Keeping D’Antoni.
    None Of the Current Players Fit His System.
    That Includes Ball Hog Kobe.

    • kb2408 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:36 PM

      The same ball hog that’s universally acknowledged as a top 10 player in the history of the NBA? Is that the ball hog you’re referring to, sir? It’s funny all those that criticize Kobe would love to have had him on their fave team for his entire career. Because then your team would probably have multiple banners hanging from the rafters.

      • loungefly74 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        yeah…you can pick apart any player and focus on the negatives…but in the end…Kobe was part of 7 Finals teams. that’s impressive. and he played integral parts on those teams.

  9. skids003 - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    Amazing how this twit gets all this attention, that’s about like a six year old, which he is. He’s good for nothing, except to keep all his baby mamas in money.

  10. lalifer - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    If the Rockets are able to land Howard, we will know for sure what one of the Christmas Day games will be.

  11. ebrownwareagle - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    If D12 leaves LA(which would be DUMB), the ONLY place for him to go and be embraced and celebrated is The Hawks. Laugh it u please, but it’s true. In LA, “IF” he wins A Championship(s), he still will be in the shadows of ALL the great Championship Lakers. All of them! From Jerry West to Kobe! One maybe Two Rings in LA and to the organization your almost just another player. Keep in mind Bynum has 2 and there not knocking his door down to come back. In Houston his Legacy will always come 2nd to the Dream! And just maybe Clyde Drexler as well. In Dallas Dirk is the Son of the City. It is what it is D12. Oh But in His Home Town of ATLANTA! There is no significant legacy to follow. Dominique, yes but If he goes to ATL and go to a Finals. Win or Lose! He will Get and Have the KEYS to the city. Because there is no doubt they would make the Playoffs. D12 is really to sensitive to play in Certain Major Markets. But in ATL his home town! Bring them a winner a you will be LOVED forever. That’s the only possible city for him to get a Statue Resurrected of Himself!

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:59 PM

      Said Hey-Hey-Hey At-Lan-Ta!

  12. jimeejohnson - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    Maybe he’s an east coast type and afraid of earthquakes, fires, and spicy food.

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:57 PM

      And bad at geography (Texas ain’t east coast).

  13. paulhargis53 - Jul 2, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Yup that same Lakersucker that lost a bet and doesn’t belong on this site anymore.

    That same loser that put the lakers in the finals when they traded for Howard is now saying they don’t need him.

    That same dummy that STILL. does not understand the cba and continues to talk about “the laker way”.

    That detestable loser is still here, making an a$$ out of himself.

    Including the coming year, it will be 4 years and counting without sniffing the finals. 1-12, with 2,sweeps in season ending series.

    Kobe is done winning rings.

    Go Nets!!

  14. unxpexted1 - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    I can’t believe Dwight is worth this much attention. At his BEST he is a second tier superstar. I mean he’s getting Lebron “The Decision” type attention from teams where I dont think its warranted for somebody who really should be the 1b-2 on a team.

    • dirtydavis - Jul 2, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      “Second Tier superstar”??? Really? Name the last second tier superstar to lead his team to the finals???

      • mcmofigga - Jul 5, 2013 at 3:35 AM

        dude can’t make FTs period and has a sorry as post game can’t shoot like most big men and has become injury prone with back and shoulder issues. Having back issues myself once they start the pain will be “back” cause it your back.

        So good luck with this guy that everyone is calling a beast. he is a cheesy ass fool that is getting way too much atention

    • aboogy123456 - Jul 2, 2013 at 3:20 PM

      Dwight Howard is THE best player in the league without the ball in his hands. It’s very hard to find someone who can offer a team what he offers.

  15. fruitcovejag - Jul 2, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    Drama queen!

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