Dwight Howard: Brooklyn Nets Wise to Pass on Lakers Star

Pete SchauerCorrespondent IJanuary 23, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers returns to the court after a timeout during a 104-88 win over the Milwaukee Bucks at Staples Center on January 15, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  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 Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Not this time, Dwight.

With the Los Angeles Lakers in shambles and Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant's relationship mirroring that of Kobe and Shaquille O'Neal, Howard is looking for an escape. But he's not going to find it in Brooklyn.

According to Ben Maller of Fox Sports Radio, the Nets will not pursue Howard as their center:

Report: Brooklyn Nets have decided they'd rather keep Brook Lopez than trade for Lakers center Dwight Howard. ow.ly/h352n

— Ben Maller (@benmaller) January 23, 2013

Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reports that Brooklyn is sticking with Brook Lopez, who is having an All-Star caliber season this year.

Here's how these two stack up this season:

Dwight Howard 17.1 12.3 2.5 3.2 .582 .504
Brook Lopez 18.5 7.4 2.1 1.7 .517 .740


This is the type of news that should make Nets fans want to do cartwheels up and down the block in their underwear.

I'm not kidding.

Brooklyn is 11-2 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo and has seen elevated play from Deron Williams and Joe Johnson since Avery Johnson was canned on Dec. 27.

The Nets trail the Miami Heat for the No. 1 spot in the East by just 2.5 games and trail the New York Knicks by just one game in the Atlantic Division.

So why in the world would they directly inject cancer into their locker room by trading for D12?

Howard may be averaging 17 PPG and 12 RPG, but his unhappiness with Mike D'Antoni's offensive system and unwillingness to consistently play defense have undoubtedly turned Brooklyn off.

And rightly so.

The Nets are playing the best basketball the franchise has seen since the 2006-07 season and aren't about to disrupt the chemistry for a self-centered star.

Lopez has immensely improved his defense and isn't a late-game liability like Howard is, since Lopez is a career 79 percent free-throw shooter.

Not to mention, Lopez is an even better pick-and-roll threat than Howard because he can hit the mid-range jumper that Howard can't.

Brooklyn slamming the door in Howard's face is undoubtedly the right move for a team on the rise.

The Nets really have something positive brewing and trading for Howard would only tear it down.

You can keep him, L.A. Brooklyn is just fine.


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