Originally posted by Ninerjohn:
I think the Lakers will sign Howard because there really isnt any plan B for them. If they dont sign him you might as well blow the entire team up and start over. On the other hand, I would be a bit nervous putting all my eggs in the Dwight Howard basket.
I think tough times are ahead for this franchise. No team stays on top forever.
I'm not all that opposed to the idea of letting Howard walk, actually. Not because I don't think he's a phenomenal player (I'm a huge fan), but I think his presence would keep the team in NBA purgatory...not good enough to contend, not bad enough to get a superstar in the draft. If Howard is re-signed (and I think he will be), the Lakers have to knock it out of the park in free agency & in any Gasol trade.
What would the Lakers payroll look like to sign FA's if they do sign Howard and dont amnesty Kobe? Would they really be able to "hit it out of the park?" The luxury tax penalty will be drastically increased I believe and it could be tough to sign anyone substantial.
So the more I think about it, this is my current train of thought regarding the upcoming offseason...
Resign Dwight. Fire D'Antoni. Hire Adelman. Trade Pau for Derrick Williams plus their 1st round pick*. Draft Trey Burke. Amnesty MWP. Sign Korver and a couple other complimentary role guys (I haven't done all my homework yet). Go into next year looking like…
Burke – Bryant – Korver – Jordan Hill – Howard
Let's be real, Nash's problems don't look like rest and rehab will heal, I honestly think he might give it one more go around this year before retiring. I love Pau and trading Pau will bite us in the ass in the short-term but we need ourselves a damn PG! One that can shoot and one that can create for himself and others. Albeit, Trey is a bit of an AI clone, but if we can get him to move that ball around a bit more, Burke/Howard P&Rs with Korver on the wing can keep us going if Kobe needs to rehab into the season or even if Kobe is ready to go. Plus, Burke is a potential star to build around post-Kobe.
*I think the Pau for D-Willi + 1st rounder would work for both sides (although, salary numbers I'm not so sure about, we might have to take back additional salary). I think it lets them not have to overpay for Pekovic (who I believe is a FA, maybe a RFA), show K-Love they are interested in winning NOW, and add a great complimentary piece to their current squad that their star PG (Rubio, for those who forgot lol) has great rapport with that won't be on their books for more than the upcoming season...AKA if it doesn't work, then $18 million off the books and they can make a move in the summer of 2014 with BronBron and company hitting FA...I think Minnesota would do the deal, especially in a pretty unimpressive draft class and for the sake of keeping Love in Minnesota long-term.
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