Dwight Howard speaking to the media about his trade request in December 2011
Kobe Bryant pulled his alpha dog card and pulled it at the wrong time. According to Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM, Kobe had a different vision of how Dwight would fit in L.A.
Rudolph notes that in a conversation with Dwight, Kobe shared the following vision: “He wanted Howard to be the team’s third option behind himself and Pau Gasol, according to a source. Bryant tried to sell Howard on being his “Tyson Chandler” and made it clear that Los Angeles would be his, but only once Bryant decided he was done playing.”
Or in other words, Kobe went opposite LeBron James. He was threatened and wanted Dwight, but only on his terms. Not necessarily the best recruitment strategy. Kobe’s “vision” for Dwight was so strongly presented that it made Dwight eliminate the Los Angeles Lakers as a team he would sign with long term.
Rudolph: “The feeling is so strong, in fact, that Howard’s representatives have informed the Lakers that Howard would not sign an extension if they trade for him this season, according to a source. The only two teams with a realistic chance at signing Howard long-term are the New Jersey Nets and Orlando Magic.”
So it comes down to two. Well it comes down to the Nets as the overwhelming favorite with Orlando clinging to hope that Dwight will stay. Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD believes that its New Jersey/Brooklyn or bust for Dwight citing multiple sources that believe Dwight will either force his way to NJ via trade or just wait and sign outright with the Nets this summer.
With the Lakers news coming to the forefront today, and Dallas having nothing to offer in a potential trade, Dwight has indeed presented the Magic with a pseudo trade demand to New Jersey. Dwight’s leverage remains his ability to walk and the Orlando Magic’s leverage remains the $30M he would walk away from.
The notable dates remain March 1st and March 15th. The 1st is the day that recently signed free agents can be traded (i.e. Glen Davis, Jason Richardson and Kris Humphries) and the 15th being the trade deadline. If Dwight survives in Orlando that day, the story survives until the summer.
The drama continues.
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