I'm not a Lakers fan or Kobe fan at all really but I was thinking of how they are trying to transition from Kobe's team yet keep the winning tradition alive without rebuilding.
This lead me to thinking of how personality wise Dwight just doesn't fit there, and how avoiding the guaranteed drawn out drama they would be better off signing a PF that will play better with Pau (David West/ Al Jefferson) for less money than Dwight and then trying to convince Chris Paul to come to the dark side (I know they have Nash...but there is an eye to the future and I don't think any team would turn down the idea of bring in Paul).
If Paul isn't interested they could always bring in Nate Robinson/ Devin Harris as Nash insurance and I think this might keep that window open for them at least a little longer.
Just some ideas I thought I would throw out there for criticism or input.
The Lakers always have a built in advantage in free agency. Players want to play in LA due to the weather, the glitz, and the tradition. While teams in the "flyover states" scrape to appease by overpaying their stars, the Lakers just sit back and let the talent come to them.
So, yeah, the Lakers are old. Kobe isn't Kobe anymore, Dwight isn't Dwight, and Nash, Gasol, and Artest (yeah, metta world peace, or whatever) are all near the end. The Lakers will have a few years of .500 ball, all of the above will retire, be traded, or leave in free agency, and then the Lakers will use all of that cap space to go out and pick up Love, LeBron, Paul, and whomever and the process will start anew.
The same thing has happened time and time again. Mikan and Baylor were done. Wilt, West, and Goodrich came. When they were done, Magic, Kareem, and Worthy came. Once they were gone it was Kobe and Shaq, then Kobe, Pau, and Dwight.
The Cap alone doesn't even the playing field. The Lakers and some small market team can have exactly the same money to spend, but the attractiveness of LA will mean that stars may take a little less to play in that market (or ownership can more easily afford the luxury tax and go over the cap). Competitive balance doesn't exist and it never will exist as long as everyone is so well paid that other things, like taxes, weather, and playing in a large market become the reason for player movement.
Some places are just more attractive to players than others, and LA is one of those places. Maybe basketball needs something like exists in baseball, where teams that lose high value free agents are compensated with additional draft picks.
This season taught us that is doesn't matter how small your market is, you can still compete if you have the right management . 3 out of the final 4 teams are small market. Memphis and San Antonio don't even have any other professional sports franchises!
When the Lakers don't have a top flight superstar (or two) they struggle. So until they get another top flight superstar they will struggle. And, Dwight Howard isn't that guy. Wilt, Kareem, Shaq, Baylor, West, Magic, and Kobe don't come along very often.
Even if the Lakers amnesty Kobe and his 30mil and then have Dwight walk away... they still don't have enough cap room to sign West. Nash, Gasol and MWP still account for 37mil by themselves on a 58mil cap. The Lakers are screwed untill the 2014 offseason where only Nash (and maybe Dwight) is on the payroll.
If we look ahead to the 2014 offseason where Gasol should be 34-35 and Kobe is 36, Nash 40...The Lakers really need to rebuild around Dwight. If he leaves, the Lakers are so far behind on a rebuild its scary. They have no prospects and no solid picks. It could be another 3-4 years before they make the playoffs again.
Boston has been prepping for this same situation for the last few seasons and have some nice young pieces to pass the torch to as an example. I'm not sure how the Lakers plan to tackle next season and I hope they're very smart building their "new team" in 2014 with the cap space they will have. In addition what type of salary do you pay 37 year old Kobe should he want to resign and continue playing? What about Gasol? If they both take a large paycut and take 10 mil per, the Lakers will still have 50 mil commited to Nash, Kobe, Gasol and Dwight. Since this past season was such a disaster with that lineup I cant imagine 2 years from now will be any better.
If I were the Lakers I would be trading Gasol for picks/youth/expirings. I'd see if there's any market for Kobe, Nash and MWP and do the same thing. If Kobe wants to come back after next season when his contract expires... he can. Next season shouldn't be another pathetic failed attempt at a championship. The rebuild should start on July 1st imo.
The Lakers can't make the moves suggested here. The cap doesn't allow it, unless it's in sign and trades, and Dwight isn't taking a sign and trade to Utah or Indiana( for your David West or Al Jefferson thoughts).
I'm probably the only Lakers fan on the forum. They don't rebuild they reload. The Lakers are going to resign Dwight and sign some young wing players in free agency to be competitive next year. After that season Dwight and Nash will be the only players on the payroll, but I assume that next season will be Nash's last season and call it quits. That season their are plenty of free agents the Lakers can grab. Possible- Wall, Parker, Wade, Crawford, Deng, George, Butler, Granger, Anthony, Leonard, Faried, Monroe, Bosh, Cousins.
Tony Parker /8mill
Kobe Bryant /9mill
Lebron James /24mill
Pau Gasol /7mill
Dwight Howard /22mill
The Lakers wait for a superstar to fall into their laps. I remember the Lakers after Magic retired. The Lake Show was solid but not a true contender.
Lakers fans might find out that the Lakers without the GUY are basically the Knicks.
This is not like when Magic retired. The Lakers will already have signed Dwight when Kobe retires and have another superstar to pair with him ( James or George) so no the Lakers are definitely not the knicks.
I allways say that the Lakers and Celtics are a teams that dominate NBA,other teams win only when Lakers and Celtics are in Reload/Rebuild mode,unless ofcourse you are Chichago Bulls and have Michael Jordan. Im not makin this up,its a fact,Lakers 17,Celtics 18 championship. Anyway, i think that Lakers will resign Howard,and probabbly next year catch some up and coming star in free agency to pair them
The Lakers need guys like LeBron, Durant, Steph Curry, Westbrook, Kevin Love, Rose, or Paul George. If not they will not seriously
compete for a title. And, Dwight Howard is not that guy.
And with the new CBA and salary cap it will be tough to get a "Big Three".
I think that right now the most coveted destination for free agents is to the Heat
to play with LeBron James and for Pat Riley on South Beach. They might be the new Showtime
A lot of you guys make it sound like it's up to the Lakers whether or not we(they) get to resign Dwight. Well it's up to Dwight.
Did Dwight seem happy last season? Do you think he likes MDA's coaching? Did he embrace the criticism that comes from playing for the Lakers in a professional manner? Does he like being in Shaq's shadow? Does a trio of Harden, Parsons, Howard and youth sound more promising at the moment?
What makes you think he'll want to resign with the Lakers? Is it merely from the hope of who we could sign 2014?
On the other hand is Dwight really a player you would want to build around? He's not dominant and he's one dimensional. He's a liability at the free throw line and is constantly in foul trouble. His maturity limits his effectiveness on and off the court and lacks a killer mentality. The guy doesn't even have a go-to move. Athleticism is great but unless you have game(skill) it doesn't matter.
As a fan, I really don't care for Dwight. If he resigns cool, if not cool. I rather save the $ for players who truly want to be in LA and don't need pampering to compete.