Lakers Pulling Out the Big Guns for Howard
July 1st is an important day on the NBA Calendar. It marks the first day free-agents can sign with new teams. One of the biggest free agents this year in Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard.
The Lakers negotiated with three other teams, swapping multiple players and draft picks so they could get their man. Howard was very unhappy during his final year with the Orlando Magic and spent the whole year lobbying for a trade that never happened. He got his wish that offseason when he was sent to the Lakers.
He disagreed with the system head coach Mike D’Antoni runs and he didn’t enjoy playing with Kobe Bryant. Sources close to Howard say that he is willing to take a paycut to play for a team and system where he feels comfortable.
The Lakers not being a preferred destination for a marquee free agent is almost unheard of. They have the second-most NBA titles in league history (even though six of them came when the team was located in Minneapolis, but that’s another argument for another day) and has long been a top team in the NBA.
The team has never had to court free agents like smaller-market teams so they’re in uncharted waters right now. In a questionable move, the Lakers have paid for billboards with a message for Dwight Howard. That message is simple, “Stay” with the hashtag #StayD12.
Whether the move works or not, the world will find out after July 1st when Howard can sign with whatever team he chooses.