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Howard may decide today; Lakers not optimistic but reports all over the map

Jul 5, 2013, 11:22 AM EDT

Dwight Howard AP

Dwight Howard may announce a decision Friday. But Howard is not good with big decisions so it may be over the weekend. Or early next week. Or July 10.

What is Howard thinking as he sits in Aspen with his advisors? Depends on who you ask.

These two tweets from connected NBA people pretty much sum up the Dwight Howard

So the Lakers are prominent or Kobe Bryant pissed Howard off. Or both. But a report from ESPN that as time moves on the Lakers are growing pessimistic about their chances and think they could be fourth in the running. So they are finally admitting they might consider sign-and-trades.

The Rockets all along have been the one team consistently mentioned, although if they want to sign Howard to a max deal they still have some salary cap work to do.

The Warriors remain in the picture and they are trying to shed salary so they can just sign Howard outright… except they are not doing that just for Howard, reports Ken Berger at CBSSports.com.

One person briefed on Golden State’s cap-clearing efforts told CBSSports.com that the team is intent on clearing room regardless of Howard’s decision. If Howard says no to Golden State, the Warriors are expected to use the room — if successful in moving contracts — to chase another max-level free agent such as Denver forward Andre Iguodala, the person said.

You count out Mark Cuban and the Mavs at your own risk, even though they may have faded in the discussion.

All of which is to say… it’s Dwight Howard. The guy who wants to make everyone happy and hates to disappoint people could go a lot of different directions when it’s time to make an announcement. Let’s politely call the situation fluid.

  1. bucrightoff - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Just end already so he can go back to being a key piece of a team that will never contend for anything.

    • zblott - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      Never contend for anything?

      His ’09 Magic team was 2 points away from leading a much more loaded Lakers team 3-2 in the Finals (lost 2 OT games), and that was with Orlando’s All-Star PG barely playing while hobbled. That’s contending.

      • elcapitanfiscal - Jul 5, 2013 at 1:08 PM

        If freaking Courtney Lee made that layup

  2. dubsgiantsniners - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    Dear Warriors,

    If you don’t get Dwight PLEASE don’t sign Andre Iguodala to a max – that may seem like a good idea now, and he’s absolutely a great player – but what do you do in 3 years when Harrison Barnes is way better and you’re paying Iggy the money to keep him?

    Let’s learn from our mistakes (cough Andris Biedrins cough)…

    • dubsgiantsniners - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:58 AM

      FYI I’m partially to blame, i have an Andris Biedrins jersey…

  3. jeffw - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    I hope he decides to go play in Europe. I just don’t care anymore. He’s WAY overrated anyway. Doesn’t have the head or the heart to win a championship.

  4. tangledupinblue12 - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    I hope he makes the decision to never wear a turtleneck again.

  5. jimsjam33 - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    Good riddance !

  6. davidly - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    My sources have told me that it’s all but inked in Houston.

  7. fanofthegame79 - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    As soon as the “Kobe pep-talk” was leaked, I knew it was going to be a turn-off to Howard. He was pretty much told “hey, your way isn’t working, but mine is – learn it, live it. love it”. Not what someone like Howard wants to hear. If the Warriors can pull off a sign-and-trade, they’ll win this sweepstakes. But if not, look for Howard to sign in Houston (and pressures them to try and sign Josh Smith, too).

    • iceturkee - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:15 PM

      if he wants to play with smith, he should go to atlanta.

  8. harshedmellow - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    An injured Kobe being a royal PITA in street clothes most of next season….. what’s not to like about THAT?!

    • aboogy123456 - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:51 AM

      you’re right that’s bad for the lakers. But what about the following season? What if the lakers were able to get paul george and some more perimeter defenders, and they are able to re-sign kobe and pau at very cheap contracts? I think what’s appealing for the lakers is that they have flexibility to build the team around dwight in 2014, and kobe will be either the 3rd or 4th highest paid player on the team.

      • bucrightoff - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:54 AM

        I keep hearing this, that the Lakers will make a splash in free agency…but when have they done so in recent history? Recently the Lakers almost always acquire their best players (Kobe, Shaq, Pau, Nash, Dwight) through trades, or they drafted guys (like Bynum). The signed Ron Ron, and thats really the only (somewhat) marquee name they’ve signed recently.

      • misterbater - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:17 PM

        Well, when have the Lakers ever had cap space? That’s right, they never have and have always been luxury tax payers. That’s why its such a big deal.

      • 3xchamps - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:12 PM

        do you really think Indiana is not going to pay Paul George? they just took the keys to the franchise from Granger and gave them to him!

  9. zacksdad - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Here is my opinion of the Lakers mistakes.

    1. Not hiring Phil Jackson last year.
    2. Hiring D’Antoni for an older roster last year.
    3. Not including Phil and Jennie B on basketball decisions this year.
    4. Trying to convince Howard that D’Antoni will be a great coach for him (Phil knows better).
    5. Not having a Plan B of getting rid of D’Antoni if this would keep Howard.

    Why D’Antoni is a bad coach for these Lakers.
    1. He likes to run and only use 7 player rotation, the players are too old for this system.
    2. He ran Jamison out of town by benching him like a rookie.
    3. He treated Gasol badly also and never created even good relationship with him.
    4. He is insecure, it hurts his feelings if you say he does not coach defense. Do not whine about it, prove us wrong.
    5. The way he treats the star players, why would anyone go to war for him

    Who is responsible for this mess?
    1. Jimmie Buss, he pulls all the strings of even Mitch Kupchak. Mitch is great commander, does what he is told and does not allow the blame to go to his boss.
    2. Jerry Buss (RIP), he should of saw what was happening and removed the dictator powers from Jimmie.
    3. Mitch Kupchak, not being able to convince Jimmie of the right moves.
    4. Phil and Jennie, allowing Jimmie to sink ship without starting a mutiny.

    Just looks like Jimmie wants his own legacy and will do what ever to put his stamp on the team. Jerry B knew when to fold a bad hand and lose face for the best of the team.

    • iceturkee - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:16 PM

      who is jennie? i think you mean jeanie.

      • zacksdad - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:20 PM

        Thanks for the correction, long fun night for the 4th. Little tired and did not look it up, but still should have caught it. I know how her name is said and should have known this spelling.

    • dirtydavis - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:20 PM

      Well said…. I don’t blame D12 for being indecisive.The real blame here is David Stern!!! D’antoni system might have work IF David Stern never pull the plug on the CP3 trade.Just Saying

      • zacksdad - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:30 PM

        But the bad part is they hired D’Antoni after the Stern “for basketball reasons” decision. Mike Brown may not even been fired of he had CP3.

        I think Jimmie’s ego is the main issue. The correct call now is to build a relationship with Phil and get Howard back with D’Antoni gone. But there is that ego thing again, so it will not happen.

      • aboogy123456 - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:43 PM

        it’s sad to think the lakers could have had kobe, cp3, and dwight together. It does not make kobe worse or better as a player but Stern really effed up his legacy. People who don’t understand his game will point to kobe not winning enough championships as to why he’s not in the convo with jordan, but he’s also had to deal with some unfortunate bad teams and injuries to other players throughout his career.

      • dirtydavis - Jul 5, 2013 at 1:19 PM

        @Zacksdad…

        Might be an ego thing, but I don’t think Jim Buss is clueless, he knows what he is doing. In 2011 Laker fans were begging to trade Bynum for Melo but he never did because he kept his eye on the bigger picture. The Lakers had a chance to land CP3 in 11-12 season and D12 the following season, but David Stern came and F**ked everything up. I’m sure Jbuss has a trick or two under his sleeve. We just have to wait and see.

        2014 is going to be an interesting off-season, when was the last time Lakers had money to spend in the off-season?

      • zacksdad - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:40 PM

        @Dirty,

        I agree that it worked out well for the Lakers with Bynum. But I think a lot of luck happened there. Look what Bynum turned out to be this year and we barley got the Bynum for Horward trade done. Bynum did help win us a Championship, but Kobe had to drag him into it.

        Jimmie has had his ego issue way too long. Phil mentioned while coaching for the team that Jimmie never ever stopped by and talked with him. How does a person learning to run the team not have any kind of relationship with the current coach.

        So besides all the luck he got in the Bynum years, I have not seen any other good things from him.

  10. j4db - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Lakers front office should’ve been thinking sign-and-trade a lot earlier when the fans were screaming to make a deal with the clippers or warriors. It looks like it might be too late now.

  11. dirtydavis - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Why the hell would Lakers hire D’antoni??? TO build around a 37 yr old PG? Serious, in what world does that make sense?

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:42 PM

      Why did they hire D’Antoni? Because Kobe and D’Antoni have a relationship and an old history together in Italy.

      Should they have hired him? Of course not, but Kobe was a large reason why they did hire him…

      They knew their window with Kobe was closing so they went after Nash. Nash, while playing at 38 yrs old last year and in only 50 games, still just missed another 50/90/40 season as he shot .497% from the field, .922% from the line and .438% from 3 pt range.

      All 3 of these shooting percentages from Nash were higher than those of the 37 yr old Ray Allen shot last year with the Heat. And it was just this past year that Nash shot better than Ray Allen, Nash’s career field goal percentage, free throw percentage and 3 pt percentage are all higher than Ray Allen’s.

      Nash committed .5 turnovers less than his career average last year per 36 min’s of court time. His turnovers were lower than they’ve been in the last 8 or 9 yrs.

      The plan was to try and win a title or two with Kobe before he retired and they wanted another good shooter in Nash who also distributes the ball well and knows D’Antoni’s system as he played with him for many years.

      Again, everyone is looking at this in hindsight. 20/20 vision after the fact…

      The reasons I just mentioned are some of the reasons they hired D’Atoni and went after Nash. They weren’t trying to build around Nash, they wanted to try and win a title or two before Kobe retired.

      As for who to build around, they wanted to build around Howard. They knew he was good and young.

      Their plan obviously didn’t involve the disaster that ensued. They expected to do very well when they assembled this team last summer. Had they done well (even short of winning the title), they had every right to expect to be able to resign Howard with the LA lifestyle and more money etc…

      But losing takes a toll on everyone. It sucks the life out of the team, it’s players, coaches, support staff, management and the fans.

      Kobe doesn’t like losing and I’m sure he was difficult to be around last year when they weren’t playing well.

      Dwight, with his fragile state of mind and temperament didn’t take well to Kobe’s way of dealing with losing. Dwight wants to play around, good off, smile, laugh and joke even after losses. Kobe, not so much.

      Had the Lakers finished 3rd in the west behind the Spurs and the Thunder and say even made the conference finals last year, Howard would have already resigned as under that scenario, Kobe would have bitched a lot less then due to their better record and less losing and Dwight wouldn’t have had his feelings hurt as much as he did…

  12. brotherlove2012 - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    No free agent will go to the Lakers in the near future unless they can pull some kind of Miami trick and get 3 at the same time in 2014. This team will be a mess next year if they don’t get Howard.

    • dirtydavis - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:30 PM

      It’s not going to be mess… At best Lakers will finish the season at 7th seed w/o D12.

  13. sportsnut101 - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Y would warriors sign iggy anyway. He can’t shoot n he plays Barnes position they need bench scoring n pg not another sf

    For that sign Matt Barnes to backup Harrison barnes brings same type of def n same type of shooter n way cheaper

    I didn’t know know they can sign Howard outright if they trade any two of the 3 expiring contracts. Bogut easy to move. The other two would need 1st rd pick included

    Howard best bet is Houston n warriors If u wanna play with josh smith call him up n play during the summer. That’s about it

  14. fordmandalay - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    All this angst for a mid-quality center who has almost no offensive skills, and doesn’t seem to care to learn any. What happened to NBA centers, anyway? 10-15 years ago DH wouldn’t have been in the top 15 in the league.

    • ryanrockzzz - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      Exactly….what has D. Howard ever done to make people think he is a championship caliber piece needing max deal money and years.

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:56 PM

      I’m NOT a Dwight Howard fan at all, never have been and I never will. But to say he is a mid-quality center shows you either don’t know where he stands with respect to others or you haven’t taken a few simple minutes to look at his stats. As for how he would have done against those from 10 to 15 yrs ago, no one may play against others from different eras, they may only play against those from their time.

      Dwight Howard finished 14th individually in field goal percentage this past year. When looking at the all time NBA leaders in true shooting percentage (which includes 2 pt & 3 pt field goals and free throws into account), Dwight currently ranks 17th all time.

      Dwight has led the league in rebounding 5 times. Dwight averaged over 13 rebounds per game for 5 consecutive years with 3 of the 5 yrs being over 14 rebounds per game.

      He is a 3 time defensive player of the year.

      He is a 5 time all first team selection.

      He is a 4 time all first team defensive selection.

      If he is a mid-quality center in today’s game, say 15th out of the 30 teams and their starting centers, who are the 14 centers or so who are better than him?

      Again, I’m not a fan. He’s immature etc… but don’t let that confuse you with respect to his numbers.

      Is a 3 time defensive player of the year who has led the league in rebounding in more than half of his seasons who also shoots a high percentage field goal wise really a mid-quality center?

      We’re adults on here, well many of us. We need to be able to discern and separate things.

      Dwight is a head case, immature and on and on.

      But rebounds per game is a fact. It isn’t subjective, neither is having the 14th highest field goal percentage this past year. These are numbers and facts…

      Please share your basis as to why he’s only a mid-quality center in the NBA today.

      • whoisferg - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:12 PM

        Nice take. I completely agree. DHoward is immature and aggravating with his indecisiveness, but you can’t call him a mid-quality center. He is a top 3 center on his way to a HOF career.

      • bougin89 - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:24 PM

        This is almost exactly my take on Dwight Howard also.

        Does he seem like an immature whiny baby? Absolutely. But don’t take away from how great of a player he is. The last time he played in the playoffs not in a D’Antoni offense? 2010/11 season. His stat line:

        27.0 ppg, 15.5 rpb, 1.8 bpg and he shot 63% from the field, 68% from the line in 6 games.

  15. gmsalpha - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    It’s simple! Re-sign with the Lakers, but include a clause in his contract that allows him to suit up for the opposing team if he chooses, when that team is Golden State, Dallas, or Houston.

    And when the Lakers lose in the playoffs, or don’t make the playoffs altogether, he can play out the postseason on one of the aforementioned teams.

  16. jamieaadams - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Breaking news: Howard Remains Indecisive.

    • dirtydavis - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:05 PM

      D12 has already made up his mind, and the Clown will post a comment on twitter around 12pm. Rumors has that Rockets are the front runners

  17. kanemoney - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    I think the best option is Golden State if he actually wants to win anything.

    The Lakers are in such a roster pickle that they simply can’t be great this season and are no contender in 2 years. Also Kobe wants to play another 3 years, Dantoni is a terrible coach, and they are *old*

    Houston has Harden and a bunch of decent talent. That’s not really much.

    GS has a great coach, culture and young talent. And their fan base is amazing.

  18. quickster007 - Jul 5, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    The Lakers should sign and trade Howard to Houston for Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin. The starting lineup for the Lakers would be Pau at center, Asik at power forward, MWP at small forward, Kobe or Jodie Meeks at shooting guard, Steve Nash at point guard. Bench: Jordan Hill center, Ryan Kelly at power forward, Steve Blake at shooting guard and Jeremy Lin at point guard. The Lakers should sign either Matt Barnes or Lamar Odom to play small forward. The Lakers needs a ten man rotation so nobody will be playing over 40 minutes per game. In 2014-15 season, the Lakers will have 65 millions of cap space. How? Kobe 30 millions, Pau 19 millions, MWP 7 millions, and tell Nash to retire at 9 millions and the total of 65 millions. The Lakers can go after Lebron James or Paul George and Demarcus Cousins. All three are restricted free agents so the Lakers has to bid for their services. If Howard stays they only need to go after Lebron James or Paul George not both. Resign, Asik to play power forward, and sign a guard like Kyle Lowry or even Darius Morris. The projected starting lineup for the 2014-15 season will be : Cousins or Howard at center, Lebron James or Omer Asik at power forward, Paul George at small forward, Kobe at shooting guard, Lowry or Morris at point guard. The most important thing to is to make room for Phil Jackson at the front office and Kurt Rambis as coach. You need credibility or the clout of a Phil Jackson to lure in free agents. The Lakers will be fine a year from now. The empire will be back

  19. allen227 - Jul 5, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    Who cares about that coward. That’s sad that he’s scared to play with Kobe, a proven winner.

  20. 3xchamps - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Kobe is ma boy but what he reportedly told Dwight is gonna make him sign with somebody else. Sometimes Kobe should just shut his mouth!

  21. florida727 - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Fluid? Technically, so is molasses.

  22. florida727 - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    Jimmie Buss = this decade’s version of Jerry Krause (see Chicago Bulls, circa 1980s)

  23. zacksdad - Jul 5, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Looks like Howard is waiting on seeing even after the Andre Iguodala signing to see if Warriors can get rid of two more bad contracts to then offer him a contract. Houston is probably a backup plan if GS cannot pull it off.

    Sorry to say I think Lakers are out of it.

    Thanks Jimmie, be proud you still have your ego.

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