NBA Trade Rumors: Magic Must Deal Dwight Howard to a Bottom-Feeder as an Example
It's no surprise this one has him going to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Three-team deal may send Dwight Howard to Lakers, Andrew Bynum to Cavs and picks/prospects/cap relief to Magic. Still trying to get details.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 14, 2012
This wouldn't be the first version of a trade sending Howard to a contender, and it probably won't be the last.
But, maybe it should be.
Why is Howard the one being treated like royalty while the comparatively-loyal Andrew Bynum might wind up with the rebuilding Cleveland Cavaliers?
If anyone deserves to be part of a rebuilding process, it's Howard.
Not only has this guy all but abandoned the city that drafted him in 2004; he's held that city captive through well over a year of indecision and comically-unreasonable demands. The last thing general manager Rob Hennigan and the Orlando Magic should do is capitulate.
The last thing they should do is become yet another team who bent to the will of a celebrity.
Howard has made his money thanks to Orlando's fan base, the people who bought tickets, merchandise and contributed to his ever-so-marketable persona.
Maybe he doesn't owe it to them to stay. But, he should treat them with some dignity and honesty at the very least.
If he doesn't want to be there, fine.
But, he shouldn't undermine the franchise's ability to make up for his loss. That's exactly what he's done with his self-entitled shortlist and the constant leaks about the process underway.
Remember, the recent revelation that Howard still couldn't be persuaded to stay came out of Howard's camp. Any hope Hennigan had of using the possibility as leverage in maximizing returns from a deal went out the window with that little leak.
Of course, Howard has no incentive to aid Orlando's pursuit of a nice haul. The more his destination team gives up, the less he'll have to work with once there.
So, why not take this opportunity to send a message to Howard and those like him?
Why not force him to spend a year dealing with the kind of upheaval the Magic are about to undertake?
Teams may not be willing to give up much for a rental, but the Houston Rockets' willingness to do business suggests otherwise.
Unfortunately, even the reshuffled Rockets may be too kind a final destination for Howard.
Maybe Hennigan should see what the Bobcats have to offer.
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