Dwight Howard Rumors: Asking Houston for 3rd Max Contract Is Laughable

Tim KeeneyContributor IMarch 10, 2017

SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 21:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers during Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 21, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas. 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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

I sure hope this is just one of those Dwight Howard jokes that no one really seems to get. 

Like when he basically drove Stan Van Gundy out of Orlando and then ended up ditching the Orlando Magic for what were supposed to be brighter days with the Los Angeles Lakers.

(Ha ha. Got 'em, Dwight.)

Or how he stabs teammates in the back, saying they are a bunch of players "nobody wanted."

(Another good one, Dwight.)

Because his most recent free-agency gambit, which comes courtesy of the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen (via Sports Illustrated's John Otano), just can't be serious. Otano writes the following:

Howard asked [Houston Rockets general manager Daryl] Morey if he would be able to offer another player a max-contract deal in addition to the contracts of Harden and Howard if he were to sign. After acquiring Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Rockets signed Harden to a five-year, max-contract deal worth $80 million.

Has Howard—in near comical fashion—bought into the narrative that a team must have three bonafied All-Stars in order to contend for a championship? Like, having a trio that the media can refer to as a "Big Three" is actually a stipulation?

Does he not realize that Houston, a team that finished eighth in the West last season, would be loaded if it signed him and only him?

For as much flak as the superstar center gets, he is still a truly dominant weapon on the court. Last year, he averaged 17.1 points, a league-high 12.4 rebounds, 1.1 steals, 2.4 blocks and was named to the all-NBA third team.

Oh, and it was considered a down year in which he was never fully healthy or at maximum explosiveness. 

If you add a healthy Howard to a core of James Harden, Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons, Omer Asik and several other young, talented, promising players (Terrence Jones, Donatas Motiejunas, Patrick Beverley), you have a legitimate title contender. 

No other All-Stars need apply.

But if you are insistent on adding another player on a max contract, you are going to be forced to rid yourself of several of those players, break up the core of the team and proceed with a far-less-tantalizing supporting cast.

The Big Three model doesn't work.

Yes, the current back-to-back champions would certainly suggest something different, but the Miami Heat are the exception to that rule. 

They have been successful because 1) they have some guy named LeBron James who is pretty decent and 2) their All-Stars took less money in order to help bring in better role players. 

Boston also succeeded with that model, but once again, the Big Three weren't on max deals, Rajon Rondo served as a solid fourth option, and that was before the new CBA. 

The majority of the time, however, this doesn't work. Acquiring three players on max deals doesn't leave teams with enough cap space to build ideal squads. Howard should know this after his time in Los Angeles. 

Adding a third max contract (if Howard signs) won't significantly help Houston, and for Howard to actually propose such a deal once again speaks to his inability as a true leader. 

Good joke, Dwight.