On the NBA: Dwight Howard

Bill Simmons raised an interesting point in his podcast last week that were he Pat Riley, he would today–at the moment of the recording–trade Lebron James for Dwight Howard.  That show in general was another great example of why Simmons is such a great listen.

I think the rational choice would be to trade one of James or Wade for Howard.  Not that it would ever happen, but it would give the Heat an ‘even’ team with star power at every positional slot; the redundancy at the wings would be alleviated.  But upon reflection, the choice between Wade and James isn’t as obvious as one would think.  The initial reaction is that keeping James, and trading Wade, is the no-brainer; the former is younger and…better.  But what if we buy into the personality analysis that indicates that James just isn’t a winner?  It’s already been established that Dwyane Wade can win on the biggest stage; Lebron James crumbled.  Regardless, the issue is moot – the Heat would never trade either of their stars, if even for Howard.

The talk now is of Howard to the Lakers with LA allegedly–according to some unverified sources–offering Bynum and Odom.  It would naturally be a slam dunk for the former champs, but as many have wondered, what point does it make for Howard?  I suppose being a virtual shoe-in for the next two titles would be somewhat of a perk, but isn’t the point behind relocating to set up his future?  The Lakers will be in shambles upon Bryant’s retirement and a 29 year old DH12 would be back at square one.

If you’re Howard, you stay firm, like ‘Melo before him, and follow Williams and Paul to wherever they may land.  But one thing is clear – like I said about James, he’s absolutely in the right to not tie himself to the Magic; that franchise is in shambles and only sinking further.  When you’re 35 and ringless, no one remembers ‘loyalty.’

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