I closed the other thread to start this one as quite a few developments have occurred in these past few weeks.
From even the most objective of angles through which I examine it, I just don't see how we are not the frontrunners at this moment to land Dwight Howard.
To begin, the conventional wisdom as to the finances has rather drastically shifted. A month or so ago, most people were parroting the point that the Lakers stood to be able to offer Howard $30million more. Now the impact of the net difference after tax is almost universally being discussed. Just now of late, the idea of Howard actually being able to opt out after Year 3 and sign a new max deal has crept its way into the spectrum of discourse. As more leaks to the media are perpetuated, I expect this to become common knowledge among even the least up-to-date of the talking heads as well.
A couple of sub-issues here:
- Howard can opt out after Y3, at age 30, and sign another full max. But does he now, at 27, after experiencing the first real signs of mortality of his career last season, believe that he will be worth another full max at 30? I personally don't think this is a big issue because athletes tend to suffer from overconfidence bias.
- His new max after opting out with LA would be higher than his new max after opting out with us, because it would be ontop of the gross figure, which with LA, is obviously higher. To what extent this is negated by the tax difference, I am not sure.
The basketball aspect has been beaten to death already. Rockets with Howard would be looking at probable immediate contention. Lakers might not make the playoffs.
As far as I'm concerned, it seems like the Lakers are pinning their hopes on legacy and guilt. "If you leave, everyone will hate you."....and..."we're the Lakers. we always turn it around." Not really many substantive logic-based arguments as to why Dwight should return.
I think the wildcard in this whole thing is the remote possibility of a surprise D'Antoni firing/PJax hiring. If they bring in Jackson, I think Lakers can become the favorite again to retain Howard.
Finally, an interesting peripheral aspect to this whole thing is the debate as to what should be done with Asik once it is time for that bridge to be crossed. I am of the opinion that the two cannot play together, but I am also of the opinion that he is more valuable than Josh Smith who will soon begin to decline. Keeping Asik, even as a backup, allows for 48 minutes of elite paint protection and insurance against a Howard injury. However, Asik's trade value will never be higher, and it is probably not the best asset/value allocation to allot $8million into a 20 minute backup player.
What do you all think? My gut tells me Howard will be signing here and we will be discussing our championship odds in a few months. My gut has often been very wrong.