Dwight Howard: Lakers Must Take Risk on D12
If the Orlando Magic decide that they'll accept a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers, one that would send Dwight Howard across the country into a purple and gold uniform, the Lakers shouldn't even hesitate before shaking hands and agreeing.
According to Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears, the two teams are engaging in some talks:
Lakers pushing hard to land Magic center Dwight Howard & meeting with Magic today,sources tell Y! LAL wants DH contract extension commitment— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 17, 2012
The primary concern in the Lakers camp is that Dwight hasn't committed to signing an extension and may turn out to be nothing more than a one-year rental.
Even without a guarantee that he'd spend multiple years in a Lakers uniform, the franchise has to assume that he will. The Lakers are one of the few teams in the NBA that have the allure necessary to be confident than they can get a star to stick around.
Going to the Lakers guarantees Dwight at least a shot at a title next season. Assuming that the Lakers lose Andrew Bynum and keep their other major pieces, they make the best starting lineup in the NBA even better.
With Steve Nash and Howard running the pick-and-roll, Kobe Bryant could go stand off in the corner on offense and the Lakers would still outscore everyone.
It's a lot easier to sign an extension when you have a ring on your finger. It's also easier when you come close enough to winning one that the bitter taste of defeat barely overrides the potential smell of success.
Plus, there's just something about L.A. that appeals to megastars like Dwight. It's one of the largest media markets the NBA has to offer and the endorsement potential is off the chart.
Dwight knows quite a bit about that appeal just from the time he's already spent in the city.
Should the Lakers trade for Dwight Howard if he won't guarantee that he'll sign an extension?
Playing in the Staples Center and looking up at the 16 NBA championship banners and the seven retired numbers is something that only a select few NBA stars get to experience. Once he tastes that, he might not ever look back.
Los Angeles can't bank on Howard signing an extension, but they also can't bank on Bynum signing one either.
They just need to gamble a bit and go for it all this season, especially with an aging roster full of 30-something-year-old starters.
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