We're pretty proud to report that there hasn't been a single blog post on The Sports Section about Dwight Howard in two weeks. We sort of consider this a public service. We check in today only to remind you that he's still hanging around, still being a pain in everyone's arse, and that, come January, you're going to have to hear about him pretty much every day. No matter how hard they tried, the Nets just can't shake Dwight Howard.
Yesterday, Howard met with Magic officials — honestly, at this point, every time Howard walks into the Magic offices, everyone from the general manager down to the parking attendant must heave a heavy sigh, a resigned God, this is still going on? (including Howard) — and told them he wants to be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers before the season begins. So, yes: Brooklyn is free to move on with its life! Except:
Without a deal that would deliver him to the Lakers in the near future, sources said Howard wants Henningan to revisit trade talks with the Brooklyn Nets in January, when center Brook Lopez is eligible to be traded. If deals don't surface with the Lakers or Nets, Howard plans to sign with the Dallas Mavericks as a free agent in the summer of 2013.
So, to make sure you have this straight:
Trade Now: Los Angeles Lakers
Trade in January: Brooklyn Nets
No Trade: Dallas Mavericks
Never: Houston Rockets
Never, Never, Never: Orlando Magic
Dwight Howard sure has a lot of options for his ultimatums!
Of course, the Lakers got rid of two first-round picks — which the Magic would have wanted back in a deal — to get Steve Nash, so they have little to offer, particularly because Andrew Bynum has said he doesn't want to go to the Magic anyway. And the Nets, while keeping themselves alive in the "derby" by dramatically overpaying Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries to make salaries match, would still be looking at a guy who could conceivably not play until January anyway because of his off-season surgery. (Oh yes, that.)
So Howard is highly unlikely to get traded to the Lakers, because L.A. has so little to offer, which means he is highly unlikely to be traded until January at the earliest, which is when he wants to get traded to Brooklyn, which means this story is never, ever going away.