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Glenn Brown
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Joined: 16 April 2004
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Posted: 30 April 2013 at 12:35am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Dwight Howard will receive a max salary contract unless he chooses to do a Miami Heat-type of deal with another max player where they both decide to take less.  Whether he deserves it or not is a discussion worth having but business being what it is, several teams would line up to give him whatever it would take to get him.

Well, maybe not after THIS season...but you get my general point...

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Rick Senger
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Posted: 30 April 2013 at 9:00am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I'm fascinated by the Howard situation.  He recovered somewhat in the second half (wound up leading the league in rebounds, fifth in blocks) though his offensive stats were down (17.1 ppg, terrible 0.492 FT... he's bad careerwise FT, but started out at 0.671 as a rookie and stayed around 60% until the last two seasons, which are both below 50%.  At some point I think the pressure got to him and now it's psychological.  Shaq had a similar trajectory.)

I do think there is a team out there that might bite on the max deal, but this season did not help Howard's image or cause.   Given the uncertainty of Kobe, the Lakers may still offer him the deal.  I'm not sure there are any great players who will want to hook up with him ala a Heat deal... he's still very good and could recover to become mvp caliber but he's definitely a question mark in the winning category and despite his breezy public demeanor, I'm not sure what he's like behind closed doors.  He went out meekly and weakly in game four and after more than a smattering of LA press suggested it's time for him to go, he quickly tweeted a late night apology to LA fans for how things finished and hoped to get a chance someday to redeem himself.  That tweet sounded like a guy unsure of his options trying to hedge his bets, but it was the first time it seemed like he might want to come back.  Given what happened this awful season and his apparent sour relationship with Kobe, that's surprising, but this whole Laker year has been that way.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 30 April 2013 at 11:03am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

What team do you think would benefit most from having him?  Teams mentioned in the press as being interested include Houston, Cleveland, Dallas, and Atlanta.


Edited by Wilson Mui on 30 April 2013 at 5:40pm
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 30 April 2013 at 8:56pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Houston looks viable.  If they dump Garcia, the Rockets are within a couple or five million from being able to offer a max deal and they can shuffle or trade. They were basically as good as LA without Dwight this year, so putting him with Harden and Lin and Asik and Parsons would be something.  But does Dwight want to go to a smaller market? 

If not, then Dallas and Cleveland face the same issue... both can manipulate things to create cap space and make sweet deals so he could play with Nowitski or Kyrie Irving, but does he want to go to those markets? 

Atlanta offers the chance to play with childhood friend Josh Smith and Al Horford, but his camp has been saying he has no interest in going home, so that seems unlikely to happen.

Forgetting markets, as far as Dwight's best chance for a ring, apparently the Spurs can create about $20 mill in cap space as Ginobli, Tiago Splitter and Stephen Jackson's contracts are up this year.  Duncan is coming off a great comeback year but he's ancient now and the Spurs would love to get a young center to ensure their future.  Ginobli could sign on for the mid-level exception and the Spurs would be a monster for at least the next two seasons with Duncan, Parker, Ginobli and Howard. 

At the end of the day, though, my gut is he stays in LA.  He may not like Kobe, but Kobe may be gone after next year or may have even already played his last game.  LA is a big market and Dwight reportedly likes the city.  He gets another year if he does the max deal with LA and can make more money there than anywhere else.


Edited by Rick Senger on 30 April 2013 at 9:04pm
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Glenn Brown
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Posted: 30 April 2013 at 9:11pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Rick, sorry but I forget...are you an LA resident?

Reason why I ask...the vibe here in LA is, IMO, ambivalent about Dwight resigning.  The city was already lukewarm on him based on how he handled the Orlando situation and his public proclamations that he didn't want to play in LA.  Call it arrogant but that kind of attitude doesn't fly in LA.  As one of the premier franchises in all of sports with a very proud history and legacy, the prevailing sentiment is that you WANT to play in LA, it is a PRIVILEGE to play in LA.  It's kind of like that in all respects.  A beautiful woman doesn't want you?  Pffft.  Another one will be along in a minute.  Here, they're a dime a dozen.

Same sentiment with sports superstars.  Dwight doesn't want to be here?  Good luck in Houston or NJ.  We'll get another superstar in '14 when our cap space opens up.

Now, assuming he wants to be here...he'd better get over this "I need to think about it" act REAL fast unless he wants a repeat of the Orlando Dwightmare.  Mitch Kupchak has already said that the sooner he makes a decision, the better for all parties...meaning, let us know what you want to do because we have other decisions to make. We have options.

I like Dwight but he's a very special case.  Meaning, you definitely have to have the right combination of players and coach around him in order for him to be most effective.  He's a top five player arguably when he's healthy, but he cannot do it alone.  The Lakers are going to look VERY different from this point forward.  Its a new day...
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Glenn Brown
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Posted: 30 April 2013 at 9:15pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Houston is definitely in play...not only for Dwight, but Morey wanted Pau Gasol a year ago via trade.  I'm hearing that Pau is a VERY coveted commodity within the league and with the right deal, LA can get some cap relief and assets in return for him.  Would love to deal with Minnesota to pair him with Ricky Rubio and get Kevin Love but that might be a pipe dream.  I don't think Derrick Williams is enough for Pau but him with a strong defensive minded guard and wing...maybe..?
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 30 April 2013 at 9:46pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Glenn, I am in LA and I agree the city doesn't really care one way or the other about Dwight.  Gasol outplayed him of late (two triple doubles in recent games, more rebounds, better scorer) and is more popular locally but I would guess he's gone this summer.  Kupchak has gone on the record as saying the Lakers have already offered the max they can to Howard and they want him back.

Howard won't sign, however, until July at the earliest because only when he becomes a free agent can he then sign for the most lucrative deal per league rules and that's the time when such would occur. 
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Glenn Brown
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Posted: 30 April 2013 at 11:25pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I think Gasol is gone.  Rick Fox made a great point on the radio recently about why Pau appeared to be mis-handled by D'Antoni during the season.  He speculated that a deal was in place for Gasol but fell through or someone pulled out, etc...but that D'Antoni backed off of playing Pau because he had been told that Gasol wouldn't be there and therefore wasn't in his plans.  Made sense to me.  After being jerked around so much I don't believe that Pau's heart is in it for LA anymore.  He WAS traded for Chris Paul...that deal was done.  Eff'ing commissioner rescinded a deal that had been agreed upon by all general managers involved...unprecedented.

In other news, the Clippers are toast.  After all of that...Memphis is going to get that sixth game, I believe.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 01 May 2013 at 12:39am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Yeah, Gasol was clearly being phased out until it became clear they couldn't make the playoffs unless they went back to him. 

The Clips are in deep trouble with Griffin's ankle injury.  But for Paul's late heroics in game 2, Memphis would already be in round two.  Now the Clippers must win in Memphis on Fri then again at home on Sun, which could be a tall order if Griffin can't suck it up.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 01 May 2013 at 11:40am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Could be the last gasp for Boston tonight. They played a typically gutty game 4 to prevent the sweep but now we're back in New York with Smith playing again.  Would love to see Boston get back home for a game 6 because it would put a lot of pressure on the Knicks, but I think that's my heart talking, not my head. 
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 01 May 2013 at 3:54pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Wouldn't Dwight Howard going to Houston be redundant?  They already have a very good Center with Omer Asik.  I'd like to see the Rockets add Denver's Andre Iguodala or Atlanta's Josh Smith instead.  I'm not sure if these guys are worthy of max contracts either.

Re the Knicks, I agree the Celtics may be done.  Even without Smith's production, the Knicks almost won.

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Glenn Brown
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Posted: 01 May 2013 at 4:58pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

His attitude notwithstanding, Dwight Howard >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> >Omer Aski.  At his best, Dwight is definitely one of the top ten and arguably top five players in the league.
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