Dwight Howard is at All-Star Weekend in Houston, a place where he has to speak to the media to fulfill his obligations and that is not something he quite enjoys.
Howard is already being bombarded with questions about his pending free-agency and the status of his injuries. The media throng is peppering him with more questions about the Lakers and their struggles this whole year. His answers are stoic and bland. Wonder why?
Chris Sheridan has come out with an interesting theory about Mr. Howard and his desire to play in Brooklyn next year.
Kudos Chris Kudos…….
Secret plans are as much a part of the NBA as dunks and irascible commissioners, and if a secret plan exists for Howard, it is not all that difficult to figure out how it would unfold. Further, after speaking with Dwight at All-Star Weekend, I walked away more convinced than ever that Howard is as unhappy as he has ever been in his career, and he is going to find a way to fulfill his ultimate goal and end up at the Barclay’s Center next season.
So let’s get back to that secret plan. I’ll break it down nice and simple for you.
Step 1: Howard remains with the Los Angeles Lakers for the entire season, which jibes with the Lakers’ plans. Howard said Friday that Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has already told him he will not be traded.
Step 2: Howard becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1, meets with potential suitors that have max cap room, including Dallas, Atlanta and Houston, yet doesn’t tip his hand.
Step 3: Howard, after one unhappy and unsuccessful season in L.A., tells the Lakers he is leaving $30 million on the table and is leaving Hollywood to seek his fame and fortune elsewhere. He then tells the Lakers they have two choices: They can watch him leave and get nothing in return, or they can work out a sign-and-trade deal with the Brooklyn Nets that will at least get them something in return. And do NOT expect that something to include Brook Lopez.
Step 4: Sit back and enjoy the leverage he has waited his whole career to wield. And by the time the signing moratorium ends in the second week of July, have his agent call whoever is running the Lakers at that time and ask them one question: “Whatcha gonna do? I need to know right now.”
The place where everyone has Howard fooled. He is the guy holding the strongest hand.