Here's the thing, though. If you know you have a coach that won't use Howard ( and his limited skills ) on offense, should you pay him $117M?
Would you, in fact, win more games if you could swap him for, say, Nikola Vucevic ( I realize this isn't a workable straight trade, I'm speaking hypothetically ). With Vucevic, you'd get 4 ppg less, 1 rpg less, and 1.5 bpg less... but you'd save about $21M/year in salary ( pre-tax ). Plus, Vucevic is 22, and getting better, while Howard has added remarkably little to his game in 9 years -- a game which is not likely to age well at all.
Could you replace 4 ppg, 1 rpg, and 1.5 bpg for $21M or less? Obviously, you could. Could the Lakers' roster benefit from $21M spent outside the center position? Again, yeah.
These are the questions that matter. Vucevic is just one example.
I, for one, will be shocked if Howard is playing like a $23M player after he turns 30. Locking yourself into long-term deals with older players of limited effectiveness is how you kill your team.
i would pay to see Real Deals face when he reads posts like this. yes vucevic's production in orlando where there isn't even really a 3rd scoring option let alone a 1st and gets single covered or ignored is on the same level as dwight who was a 1st option on a NBA finals team, 3 defensive player of the year awards and is still outproducing every center in basketball despite the fact that he wasn't supposed to be in a game until january
and if you think dwight hasn't improved his game in 9 years you clearly didn't watch dwight for his 9 year career