There have been many rumors going around the past week about Dwight Howard joining the Lakers in 2012. At first, this seemed like a rumor started by a crazy Laker fan as a teaser but media outlets have been reporting this rumor too.
Just yesterday, ESPN analyst Ric Bucher posted this message on his Twitter page:
DisneyWorld vs. Disneyland feud could go DefCon1: Sources say DHoward has eye on Lakers if Magic don’t win a title in next 2 years.
This rumor doesn’t seem so crazy anymore, does it? No I guess not, but there’s too much hoopla surrounding this rumor. Dwight to the Lakers (2 years prior to the actual move happening) sounds a lot like the “LeBron to New York” rumor the fans and the media have been hyped up for the past few years before he eventually tore their hearts out. I suggest not getting your hopes up on this rumor too much incase he holds “The Decision” spurning the Lakers for another team (Clippers?).
A lot of Laker fans might be wondering how this would work. Well, how this works is simple. Dwight has an early-termination clause in his contract for 2011-2012 meaning at the end of the ’11-12 season, he can terminate his contract and become a free agent, giving him the opportunity to join the Lakers for the ’12-13 season. But the Lakers have approximately $67 million locked in for 3 players alone in ’12-13, which brings them over the current salary cap already (the CBA negotiations don’t help the cause either).
The Lakers likely won’t look to overspend on Dwight so they would likely make some trades to make room for him, with all eyes on Andrew Bynum and his $13 million contract. Dwight makes slightly more than Bynum, at approximately $16.5 million. This opens up a sign-and-trade scenario with the Lakers shipping out Bynum and possibly Luke Walton to Orlando for Dwight. However, if that deal isn’t considered, the Lakers could just simply trade away Bynum to another team for some low-paid players to create room and sign Dwight in the offseason. There are many scenarios to be considered, so it’s best left to “Magic Man” Mitch.
So Nation, do you support Dwights move to the Lakers?