Dwight Howard is ready to explore his options as the official start of free agency creeps nearer, but many feel he will ultimately be back with the Los Angeles Lakers next season. Money matters to most people, and the Lakers can offer Howard $30 million more than any other team. However, LA’s chances appear to be looking more bleak by the day.
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, Howard is “unlikely” to re-sign with the Lakers at this point. The front-runners are believed to be the Dallas Mavericks and the Houston Rockets, with Broussard describing LA as having “little chance” to bring back the big man.
Why is Howard so against returning to the Lakers? As you probably could have guessed, Howard is believed to have an issue with head coach Mike D’Antoni and his system. Howard was reportedly frustrated with D’Antoni after the season for not allowing him to be more a more vocal leader, but apparently he disagrees with him when it comes to X’s and O’s as well.
As Phil Jackson alluded to after the season, D’Antoni is not exactly adept at properly utilizing big bodies in the post. He runs more of a guard-heavy system and was criticized for the way he used Howard and Pau Gasol throughout the season, even hearing it from Kobe Bryant at one point. The idea was that D’Antoni would find success with Steve Nash running the point, but Nash’s health complicated matters.
By all indications, the Lakers are committed to D’Antoni. They did not hire him with the intention of giving him a one-year trial. The Lakers also showed us with these billboards on Monday that they are committed to trying to bring Howard back, and Kobe has made it clear that he wants that to happen as well. From the sound of it, the team had better come up with an incredibly strong pitch.Google+