Dwight Howard has an extremely difficult decision to make this summer, which is why he’s doing the right thing by taking some time away to think about it.
According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles, the Lakers big man plans to take a break from the constant scrutiny and ultimate failure that his club dealt with over the course of the 2012-13 campaign.
After being eliminated from postseason contention, Howard quipped:
I'm going to take my time and get away from my phone and everything and just clear my head. I think I deserve that right and that's what I'm going to do.
Howard is set to hit unrestricted free agency in July, giving him plenty of time to mull over his options and listen to various suitors pitch him on playing for their club.
D12 is going to command a maximum length and salary contract from whichever team he signs with, so he has to carefully weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each city and franchise.
He could remain in L.A. and try to become the most popular superstar in the second-largest media market, but knows full well the struggles this organization will face on the road to another championship.
Superman could elect to take his talents to Houston or Dallas—two organizations reportedly interested in bringing in the star center this summer—greatly elevating the level of basketball in either of those Texas cities.
Regardless, it’s going to take some time to sort through all the options, which could even include a handful of potential sign-and-trade offers.
Howard deserves a break after his tough year. The controversial pivot battled his way into the starting lineup for the 2012-13 season tip after undergoing offseason back surgery, but received no shortage of criticism for the Lakers’ shortcomings.
He also needs a sabbatical from the media in order to avoid another “Dwightmare,” which his season-long saga during the 2011-12 campaign has come to be known. Howard infamously waffled on signing an extension with the Orlando Magic and demanded a trade, with maddening stipulations on which franchise he would sign long-term with.
As long as he’s able to go silent, recover from his injuries and get his mind right, it should be easy for the big fellow to pick a team and stick with it this summer. There shouldn’t be any controversy or drama, as long as Dwight Howard keeps quiet until he makes his decision.