Dwight Howard: 5 Dumbest Moves Howard Could Make Before 2012 Free Agency

Joye Pruitt@joyethewarSenior Analyst IJune 21, 2011

Dwight Howard: 5 Dumbest Moves Howard Could Make Before 2012 Free Agency

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    Dwight Howard is almost unstoppable individually, but I think we can all have a hand in the argument that collectively with the group of men assembled in Orlando, his only Kryptonite is the NBA postseason.

    Even he knows that he cannot survive much longer under the guidance of the Magic, or at least with the tools they have been working with such as Hedo Turkoglu and Gilbert Arenas.

    He may have most recently come forward, according to the Orlando Sentinel, about Arenas' future contributions to a better season’s end. But, throwing your head coach under the bus is not exactly screaming “Hey, I’m going to be your guy in the future!”

     “I don’t think our coach used him the right way, but I think he can do a lot of great things for our team. He promised me this summer he was going to get himself better, physically and mentally, so he can come back and have an awesome year. …

    "I just felt like he didn’t get the opportunity to play his style but also play with me. I think he needed to. I think he got a couple of opportunities to do it in the playoffs, but it was kind of too late. So I think he will be great for us.”

    If you are sick of hearing about how useless Stan Van Gundy has become, raise your hand. Now that millions have announced the need to get him out of the franchise already, maybe the Orlando organization can take a step in the right direction of keeping Dwight Howard on board.

    Still, there are a lot of things that Howard must take into consideration if the Magic team does not make the moves he thinks are vital to his own success. Things such as where he would land and what moves would be the least conducive to his ultimate goal.

    There are more than a couple things I have in mind that would end Dwight’s career before he can escape an ending similar to Karl Malone’s.

Refuse Communication with Orlando Magic in Case of Final Decision

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    Amongst other things that LeBron James did before actually playing a game in South Beach, what truly seemed to make Dan Gilbert tick was his refusal to give him and Cleveland a heads up before he made his live decision to play for the Miami Heat.

    On paper, the ratings made it seem like it had been the thing to do. However, the after effects of it all shows that it not only damaged his legacy for the present and near future but it also helped him adopt the No. 1 hated man on Twitter badge.

    It is an accomplishment I am sure he could live without and even expressed his remorse for how he went about announcing his decision.

    Dwight Howard, please take note of what those before you have done wrong. How stupid would it be for him to walk on the left side of the street after LeBron has already done so and fallen into a never-ending manhole?

    Howard is a Hollywood type of figure and looks to be in the spotlight. Therefore, the notion of him doing something like an ESPN special does not seem too far-fetched in my mind. If he is even remotely heading in the direction of pulling something similar to “The Decision,” he should take a deep breath and just say no.

    His image is one of the most in touch that I have seen in athletes, with the exception of Shaquille O’Neal, and being compared to how relatable the “Big Diesel” was is a huge compliment.

    Even if Howard does not use an ESPN platform to make his future known, keeping his decision from Orlando executives could also prove to be shaky for how the franchise and the fanbase look at him for years to come.

    Basketball is more emotionally based now than ever, and I have never seen fanatics so invested in their hometown players. Dwight has a really solid fanbase, but that can all be shaken and taken away if he does not handle his possible exit the right way.

    Informing the organization of what he plans to do will give them the opportunity to explore trade opportunities. The punch would hurt a lot less if Orlando has an ice pack at hand. 

Play out His Free Agency Fiasco in the Media

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    The more he speaks, the more I shake my head in his general direction.

    Dwight Howard has always been the people person you expect to crack a joke or a smile, but never did I think he could spew so many ill-advised quotes about the dedication of his own teammates.

    Players have been bashed plenty for throwing their teammates under the bus, and here is Howard every other report, handing out more press material than I think the rest of the Orlando players are ready to handle.

    Shouting on the sidelines or in the locker room about how the dedication and performance levels are down is one thing.

    However, standing face to face with a man or woman whose job is to blow your statements out of proportion and constantly feed them that your teammates do not have the goal of a NBA Championship in mind is another.

     “We just need a team of guys who have no goals but to win a championship. No individual goals. The only goal should be winning a championship, and I want the management to feel the same way. Our teams, and our owners, everybody, has to have one mission. I just want guys who are going to play hard every night.”

    In front of cameras you may see the humble side of these players that Howard is consistently criticizing. But I am pretty sure that on the inside they would like to watch tape and pinpoint moments where Dwight was at fault.

    Unfortunately for them, there were close to none.

    Unless you count the random technical fouls he was tossed that resulted in a game suspension, the moments where Howard dropped the ball are nonexistent. Still, it lowers the morale of a team that you want to go through battle with you by telling not only them but everyone else how much they suck.

    Since there have been no moves made yet to ship him out of Orlando, he should hold his tongue and wait until he does not need the same players that he continues to disregard. 

Encourage a Trade To The Golden State Warriors: EPIC FAIL!

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    Only take it with a grain of salt.

    I seriously believe clichés like those are meant specifically for the rumors that Dwight Howard would be a viable switch for Monta Ellis. Sure that would be one of the greatest things for the Warriors, who are in the process of breaking in a new head coach and operating under relatively new ownership.

    But, saying that Orlando would be on the short end of the stick is an understatement. Monta Ellis can score, but I am not so sold that his personality is much removed from the standoff he faced when Stephen Curry was drafted to Golden State.

    Not only does his attitude worry me, but Orlando would be without their biggest and probably only paint threat.

    Monta is a monster from long distances, but he produces well in a system that does not require much defense. How would that serve the Magic well amongst defensive minded teams like Chicago, Boston and Miami?

    Those teams are only in the Eastern Conference. What about going up against players like Russell Westbrook in the west?

    Orlando would look like boys among men and would be embarrassed physically and mentally night in and out.

    If Dwight Howard went to Golden State, he would have to bear the brunt of a remodel. That is something that this point in his career does not permit.

    After six years without as much of a second glance at the NBA Finals, Howard is not in the position to wait another few years before he can even taste the Finals stage.

    Stephen Curry has the potential to be great, but I doubt he is in any lane to reach for that Championship trophy anytime soon.

    Dwight Howard would once again be the primary scorer around men that may not play similar to those in Orlando, but roles would equal the output or even fall below the red line.

    He would be in the Western Conference, forced to play against combinations in OKC, LA and even the Dallas Mavericks.

    Sending him into a gunfight with a butter knife does not seem like it would turn out bubble gum and sunny skies.

Encourage A Trade To the Los Angeles Lakers

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    Even though Dwight Howard wants to be a winner, I am almost 100 percent sure he does not want to be a needle in a haystack. Sure he will be highlighted almost as much as he is in Orlando. Still, a movement to Los Angeles would diminish his quality.

    It’s just like when LeBron James went to Miami Heat or when Carmelo Anthony went to the New York Knicks. Both players hold a high quality of athlete in their blood, but when they traveled to bigger franchises signaling that they required help to get to and win the NBA Finals, their talent levels were and are still questioned.

    LeBron’s comparison to Michael Jordan is being dismissed as disrespectful and Anthony’s lack of defense is being highlighted by the league’s refusal to vote him onto an All-NBA Team.

    Dwight Howard is a force to be reckoned with, but the Lakers’ reluctance to let go of Andrew Bynum and his rise to the top of the purple and gold ranks will push him into a situation where drama will more than likely arise.

    Pau Gasol will most likely not be much of a factor for the team much longer.

    But, after waiting for so long for the experiment to push out something more than a bust, LA will not be so quick to give up on the kid. Howard needs to be in a place where his role will be infinitely defined.

Become a Crybaby Before He Walks Away from Orlando

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    We saw how affected Carmelo Anthony was when the rumors of his trade began circulating. Dwight Howard has the pleasure of his beginning closer to the edge of the season’s end and not in the dead middle of his journey to the postseason.

    They may have been stirring, but none were blown up until the Orlando Magic lost in the postseason to the Atlanta Hawks and with great merit.

    Losing to a team with barely any heart does seem like it may sting the heart of a superstar a little.

    Whining does nothing but irritate those who are usually your greatest supporters. Not only does it signify a personality shift, but it gives fans more reason to stray when you make a move that disappoints them.

    Howard is coming across as somewhat of a 'whiner' in the media and as a usual supporter of his conquest, it is a bit disheartening. 

    Since he is facing most of the talk now, he can take his moments to shift himself into a position where it will not affect his production on the court with the team he is so readily about to exit.

    That will not only seem more attractive to potential trade options, but it will keep him standing strong in the eyes of the fans that he will pretty soon be leaving.

    Just because his teammates are not doing what he thinks they should or they may not have the fire burning as bright as he would desire, Howard should never be seen whining or doing anything other than encouraging greatness from those around him. He definitely should not just give up. 

    Quitting is something that is frowned upon in any professional sport. Especially quitting right before you decide to leave a franchise high and dry, LeBron.

    Dwight Howard does not seem like a man to relinquish his duties because he expects to be heading somewhere else, but when your heart is taken out of a situation there is no telling what your body will do.

    Howard just needs to keep a leveled head when facing the questions about a possible trade or his exploration about free agency and proceed through the 2011 season with a smile on his face and an average of 25+ points and 10+ rebounds in his back pocket.

    That is a heck of a way to walk away, isn’t it?