Rumor and gossip run riot during the NBA off-season with regards to free agency and in Dwight Howard’s case, it’s heavily magnified. The combination of Lakerland and arguably the most prized free agent on the market makes for a media zoo of epic proportions.
While the general consensus until this point has been that the Lakers would refuse any sign and trade deals, ESPN reporters Mark Stein and Ramona Shelburne now tell us that LA might be bracing for the worst, with a Howard walk-out appearing more likely by the hour.
As the Lakers begin to build a Plan B, the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and now the Golden State Warriors wait patiently, hoping to pick up the biggest free agent prize on the market. Houston are the front-runners according to bookmakers but at the end of the day, when it comes to Dwight Howard no one knows what is going to happen.
While Dallas and Houston have the biggest budgets to claim Howard, reports have surfaced recently regarding the Golden State Warriors who appear to believe they are in with a chance and as such are said to be looking at ways to shed salary. ESPN.com reported Thursday that the Warriors had begun trying to trade away the expiring contracts of Andrew Bogut ($14 million), Richard Jefferson ($11 million) and Andris Biedrins ($9 million) in an attempt to clear salary-cap space to sign Howard outright. Whether or not they have what it takes remains to be seen but it’s clear that they believe they have that chance.
So who will it be? The young, upstart Warriors? The young, diverse Rockets or the rebuilding Mavericks?
Or… just maybe…
The elderly yet accomplished Los Angeles Lakers? Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash have made their pitch, now it’s just a waiting game.
Whatever happens with Howard’s decision, the entire off-season will be officially classed as a “Dwightmare” for two or three of these teams if they don’t get their man.
The NBA silly season, good times.