Speculation was sparked Thursday, just before Dwight Howard and the Lakers were about to get blown out on national television against their same-city rivals, the LA Clippers. Stephen A. Smith and Nets announcer Ryan Ruocco held their usual daytime radio show on ESPN Radio, 98.7 FM, NY. During the show, a caller asked the duo about a potential Dwight Howard trade to the Knicks. Ruocco responded by saying how Dwight’s recent comments have sounded like a guy who will not be in LA next season. Smith agreed and shed even more knowledge on the former Orlando Magic center’s thinking:
SAS: He’s not happy being in LA, he’s not happy playing alongside Kobe. No matter what he says…so I don’t know what’s gonna happen. Jim Buss is walking around telling everybody he’s 95% certain Dwight’s staying. Now; he can sign a 5 year deal for like $117 million I think, with the Lakers. He can sign for about 4 years and like $87 million with anybody else. But that 5th year is usually an option year. And so really it’s like an extra $3 million as opposed to and extra $30 million on the contract….
I’m just of the mindset, and I had a reliable source tell me this, Dwight Howard will categorically deny it, but I trust my source; when they were playing Toronto, he sat there on the court and told Rudy Gay – “You messed up bad man, you should’ve waited and ended up with me in Brooklyn.” that’s what he told him. Now here’s the problem; he doesn’t determine that. He can’t force his way to Brooklyn, he can’t pull that off.
Now remember, the way the rules are stipulated now, you understand, the reality of the situation is that the Nets…he had his chance. Now if they want let go of Brook Lopez and they’re able to unload Kris Humphries, you know, things of that nature, that could happen. But the Nets will have to be willing to capitulate and the Lakers have to be convinced that he’s definitely going to leave. They’ve got less than a week. The trading deadline’s rapidly approaching, it’s February 21st, so it’s a problem, but I’m just telling you…
RR: He’s still saying that. He still thinks he’s going to Brooklyn?
SAS: He still believes it.
RR: Is he just delusional or…?
SAS: Yes, he is…it’s not that it’s impossible, it’s that he doesn’t have the right to dictate anything. Now he’s got an exceptional agent in Dan Fegan that can make some maneuvers, but if Dan Fegan had his way, he would’ve been in Brooklyn last year. You gotta remember when he opted in to stay in Orlando, he did that behind Dan Fegan’s back.
RR: Dan was not happy about that, I’d assume.
SAS: Now Otis Smith, the former general manager for the Orlando Magic…understand that Otis Smith didn’t like, back door Dwight or anything. When Dwight Howard came to him after they lost to San Antonio that Tuesday night, Otis Smith said go ahead and think about it. Don’t make a rash decision. He didn’t back door him. He wasn’t sleazy or anything like that. Dwight Howard came, spoke to people and obviously, pressure from the family because the dad…the Orlando Magic organization did a phenomenal job of ingratiating itself with the Dwight Howard family. The father did not want him to leave, did not want him to leave. I’m telling you, I know what I’m saying. I met the father, I talked to the father. Father don’t rate particularly fond of me. You understand because I looked him in the face told him where I stood on the matter…he wants…he wanted his son to remain in Orlando.
So my point is that when Dwight Howard opted in, he did it behind Fegan’s back. Fegan had nothing to do with that.
RR: “Oh yeah, yeah, I know.”
SAS: “So, if you could do it behind your agent’s back once, you’re very unpredictable….”
Smith’s comments have to make fans wonder whether Dwight Howard to the Nets is still a possibility. Although incorrect with his estimations of the different types of contracts Howard could sign if he were to re-sign with LA or go elsewhere (it’s really about 5 years, $100 million with LA and 4 years, $75 million elsewhere), the main point is that according to Stephen A., Dwight still yearns for Brooklyn. Also according to Stephen A.; Dwight still remains delusional.
Others around All-Star weekend are also trying to concoct ways in which a Dwight to Brooklyn move would be possible. Chris Sheridan of sheridanhoops.com offered a scenario in which the Lakers and Nets could do a sign and trade deal to bring D12 to BKN. Unfortunately, with both the Nets and Lakers being severely over the cap, a sign and trade during the summer would be near impossible. Sheridan responded by saying this:
To tweeps dismissing Dwight scenario because tax teams can’t do S&Ts, my cap guru says would be difficult but not impossible for #Nets.
— Chris Sheridan (@sheridanhoops) February 15, 2013