Dwight Howard: Trade Fiasco Will Make Star Subject of Scrutiny Wherever He Lands

Sam R. Quinn@SamQuinn_Senior Analyst IIIJuly 23, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 28: Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic looks on against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on March 28, 2012 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

This painstakingly long Dwight Howard trade fiasco has gone on for the better part of the last year, and the process will do nothing but make "Superman" the subject of extreme scrutiny wherever he may end up.

Howard's actions throughout this entire ordeal destroyed the Orlando Magic organization from the inside-out. General manager Otis Smith was ousted in May along with Stan Van Gundy, who had coached the team for the last five seasons.

The Magic have been trying to comply with Howard's wishes. New general manager Rob Hennigan made a plea to the face of his franchise to give the new management a shot, but to no avail (via ESPN).

He's flip-flopped back and forth on his prospective destinations. The three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year wanted to go to the Brooklyn Nets, but that deal fell through after extensive negotiations ended.

Most recently, we heard that Howard would commit to signing an extension if a possible trade with the Los Angeles Lakers came to fruition. Then we heard that he would do no such thing (via ESPN).

Howard may think that this whole plan will work out for him in the end. It certainly will, barring one thing—his performance.

He's fresh off of season-ending back surgery and there's no telling what we're going to see from him next season. Signs would point to a successful season for one of the NBA's best centers, but you just never know in sports.

If Howard finds a new landing spot before this upcoming season begins, and he doesn't put up 20 points and 10 rebounds per night at the very least, he's going to have a lot of adversity to deal with from the hometown crowd.

Say Howard winds up with the Lakers and puts up numbers far more pedestrian than the statistics he accumulated during his eight seasons with the Magic. The fans are going to come down hard on him. He's been so highly courted throughout this entire offseason, and if he fails to produce, the backlash will be catastrophic.

Remember what happened to LeBron James when he failed to win a title in his first year with the Miami Heat? Despite his individual performance, he was unable to get that coveted Larry O'Brien Trophy.

Wherever Howard ends up, if he doesn't produce and his team doesn't succeed, he's going to suffer the consequences of this circus act. He's made it very hard to like him this summer, and if he doesn't dominate wherever he ends up, the public disdain will be magnified.