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Report: Lakers Concerned Over Dwight Howard; Trade An Option?

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Los Angeles LakersThe Lakers have a lot to be concerned about. They are 17-24 through the halfway point of the season and the problems on and off the court never seem to end for the team.

There have been rumblings about the Nets wanting another shot to acquire Dwight Howard. Pau Gasol is not exactly about happy being taken out of the starting line-up, though he understands it’s an attempt to better the team.

Well, there are more whispers that the Lakers may look into another drastic option. Here is a the report from Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein from ESPN:

The Los Angeles Lakers have consistently turned away trade inquiries in recent weeks for All-Star center Dwight Howard and still believe they have a strong chance of signing him to a new contract when Howard becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer, according to sources close to the situation.

But sources told ESPN.com this week the Lakers might be forced to reconsider that position between now and the Feb. 21 trade deadline because of Howard’s growing unhappiness with his role under coach Mike D’Antoni and the potential that raises for Howard leaving them in July without compensation.

While the Lakers aren’t likely going to trade Dwight, they would be foolish not to consider the option. As mentioned, Howard is a free agent this summer and if this doesn’t work out between him and the Lakers, he could very well walk away and leave for another team.

Howard knew what he was getting into, right? He would still play second fiddle to Kobe Bryant and would get the team’s reins once Kobe retires. We all knew Kobe was going to get the most shots in the team. Also, he would get more shots if he took better care of the ball. Usually, he would get stripped by the other team when he’s in the post. Howard is also second in free throw attempts per game at 9.7 so it’s not like he hasn’t had the opportunity to get shots (shot attempts don’t count if fouled during a shot).

And it’s really too bad that the Lakers have had to cater to Dwight, when it’s probably not the best way for the Lakers to win. Pau Gasol is the much better post player on the team. But I suppose if they want to keep Dwight, they have to keep feeding him. Unfortunately, it’s one of the many things that doesn’t work for the Lakers.

I also thought it would work out for Dwight because he was a very devastating “roll” man on the pick and roll situations. With Steve Nash orchestrating the play, I thought they would pulverize opponents with that over and over. Instead, Howard prefers to get the ball on the block and go to work. He’s not the worst post player in the world but it’s also not the most efficient play for him. While Howard is averaging good numbers (17.1 points and a league-leading 12.3 rebounds per game), he has looked listless a lot of the time and has had little impact defensively. It could be that he’s still majorly affected by the back injury but, sometimes, we just don’t see the effort.

What’s even worse is that we have to deal with Dwight Howard’s free agent status again during the season. Welcome to Dwightmare the sequel.

Rey Moralde is a Southern California native who has a passion for basketball, old-school video games, sushi, and terrible pop music.

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