Adidas May Want to Keep Dwight Howard from Chicago

Dwight Howard has made it clear he wants out of Orlando. The All-Pro center has asked for a trade to one of three teams: the Lakers, Mavericks, or Nets. One GM doesn’t think Orlando is interested in what the Lakers can offer, and the Nets’ trade chip, Brook Lopez, is injured. One would figure that a team like the Bulls would be a desirable landing spot for Dwight. Chicago also has attractive assets for a trade. So why isn’t he interested in joining reigning MVP Derrick Rose in Chicago? It may be because Howard’s primary sponsor, Adidas, wants to keep its two biggest NBA stars in separate markets.

From Yahoo! Sports:

Adidas has two franchise endorsers: Derrick Rose and Howard. Rose signed a $94 million extension with the Bulls, and sources say Adidas is working on a lifetime shoe deal for him now.

And as one high-ranking sneaker executive says, “Adidas simply cannot have its two signature players on the same team in the same market. … Derrick is the face of that market, owns that market, and Adidas can’t possibly have maximum bang for its buck with Dwight there.

“It serves Adidas no purpose. They need them as rivals in competing markets.”

The reasoning may sound silly, but it’s a reality. Brands like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour influence where recruits go to school, and where coaches decided to coach. It’s not far fetched to think they want to keep their starts in separate markets.

I don’t know if that’s the reason Dwight isn’t interested in playing for the Bulls, but it’s a plausible factor. It’s just too bad we’re going to see so many crying fans when Dwight leaves Orlando, which could come sooner rather than later.

H/T Eye on Basketball

LeBron James on Dwight Howard: ‘He’s Nowhere Near Going Through What I Went Through’

It never fails. Every time LeBron James looks like he’s starting to come around and genuinely wants to become someone that the fans can root for, he makes a comment that makes him look arrogant. With Dwight Howard set to become a free agent next season and Orlando Magic fans desperately hoping he stays, it would be fair to draw a comparison between this season for Howard and two season ago for LeBron when his contract was expiring in Cleveland.  LeBron is obviously a bigger superstar than Dwight, but the situation is similar — superstar in his prime currently playing for team that desperately needs him but will have a tough time keeping him.  If you ask LeBron, however, what he went through is totally different than what Dwight is experiencing.

“No, he ain’t going through what I went through, don’t say that,” James said Wednesday before the Magic played the Heat according to the Orlando Sentinel. “He’s nowhere near going through what I went through.”

No two situations are exactly alike. LeBron’s situation was unique for a number of reasons. For one, he grew up in Akron and was beloved by the people of Ohio for more than just his Cavs career.  He promised the people of Cleveland a championship and came up just short several times.  He also strung them along and made it look like there was a chance he would return to the Cavs last season, when he knew all along he was going to take his talents to South Beach.

Howard, on the other hand, has requested a trade.  He has made it very clear that if Orlando cannot improve its team and bring in more players, he wants out. We call that honesty. Honesty is a word that may not even be in LeBron’s vocabulary.

What exactly did LeBron go through? We know he didn’t feel the need to apologize for the way things ended in Cleveland, so does he feel that he is owed an apology from the fans? There is only one way to interpret his comments about Howard: LeBron feels he was a victim throughout his final months in Cleveland.

Magic Survey: Would You Renew Your Season Tickets if Dwight Howard Leaves?

If Magic fans respond to this survey the way they are supposed to, the Orlando Magic could be the dumbest organization in basketball.  If the fans give a response that would help push Dwight Howard out the door, they could be the dumbest fanbase in America.  In a recent survey that the Magic gave out to season-ticket holders, one of the questions they asked was whether or not people would renew their seats if Dwight Howard was not on the team. Don’t believe us? Check out this picture that Darren Rovell shared:

Darren Rovell's photo Magic season ticket holder survey asks: If Dwight Howard leaves, will you renew? (via @ebayticketshop)

For those of you who can’t read that, the statement says, “If Dwight Howard leaves the Magic, I will not renew my season tickets.” Fans are asked to check off a bubble indicating how much they agree or disagree with the statement.  Wow.

Who in their right mind would indicate that they “disagree” with that and basically give the team permission to not keep Howard?  These are the same fans who bought out billboard space to try to entice the team to trade for Chris Paul, so I doubt they’re going to say “no problem” to the thought of losing their best player.  Dumbest survey question in the history of professional sports? It just may be.

Thanks to I Am a GM for pointing out the hilarity.

Magic Fan Marshall Coleman Drugged Out from Dental Surgery Really Wants Dwight Howard to Stay (Video)

Whether he plays one more season in Orlando or not, chances are Dwight Howard will not be in a Magic uniform to start the 2012-2013 season.  A handful of teams are interested in trading for the Magic center before the season begins and even more would be interested in signing him as a free agent next offseason.  The relationship between Howard and the Orlando front office seems to be strained, and the more likely scenario is that he ends up with a team like the Nets.  That is terrible news for Magic fan Marshall Coleman, who really wants Dwight to stay. Check out this video that Ball Don’t Lie shared with us:

On the bright side, there are far more embarrassing things you can be videotaped doing after having your wisdom teeth removed.  Coleman wants one of the best players in the league to re-sign with his team.  Who wouldn’t?  There’s no better time to get people to listen than when you’re freaking out on anesthesia.

Video credit: Marshall Coleman’s brother’s Twitter.

Dwight Howard Upset GM Otis Smith Hasn’t Taken More of His Advice

Dwight Howard has been pushing for a trade from the Magic. He’s hinted that he wants to go to the Lakers, but his GM reportedly isn’t interested in what the Lakers are offering. He’s also interested in playing for the Nets with Deron Williams.

Though it’s obvious that Dwight wants out, he’s trying to leave Orlando without looking like the bad guy. He’s blamed the media for pushing him out, and now he’s blaming his GM for not doing enough.

“I’ve talked to a lot of guys and they’ve expressed a lot of interest and would come here,” Howard said. “And I’ve expressed that to the correct people, and none of it’s happened.

Offered the chance to respond, [GM Otis] Smith countered that he has consulted with Howard on most, if not all, moves made in recent years. Smith also said that he did acquire some of the players Howard had suggested.

Howard says he has not had a good enough relationship with his GM. I don’t know what kind of moves Dwight has suggested, but I think Smith has done a pretty good job building the roster. He’s acquired Ryan Anderson, Marcin Gortat, and Hedo Turkoglu in trades. He’s drafted players like Dwight, J.J. Redick, and Courtney Lee. Hedo Turkoglu and Brandon Bass marked some of his better signings.

The team made the Finals three seasons ago, and then lost in the Conference Finals two seasons ago. They’ve had good teams. Otis Smith built good rosters. Losing Hedo Turkoglu to the Raptors took away one of their key players, and then everything fell apart last season. I can see why Dwight wants out, but he shouldn’t blame Otis Smith as the reason.

Dwight Howard and Deron Williams as Nets Teammates Would Give Heat Problems

Based on all indications, Dwight Howard wants out of Orlando. He is under contract for this season, but can opt out of his deal after the year (he has a player option for 2012-2013). The Lakers may try to acquire him via trade or free agency, but for now, reports say Dwight is trying to force a trade to the Nets.

The Nets reportedly are offering center Brook Lopez and two first-round draft picks for Howard. Lopez is better than average at center, but Dwight is one of the consensus top five players in the game. It’s a good deal for the Nets, even if they only get Howard for one season. They’d be able to pair him with point guard Deron Williams, whom they also acquired via trade, and see if they can sign either player longterm after the season. The pairing would present a lethal combination.

If the Nets can land Howard, they would be a top four team in the East. Moreover, they would give the Heat absolute fits because they would be strong exactly where the Heat are weak. Miami doesn’t have a center to face Dwight (please, don’t tell me Joel Anthony). They don’t have a point guard who can keep up with Deron Williams. That doesn’t mean they would lose to the Nets in the playoffs, but just keep in mind that the matchup may favor the Nets.

New Jersey has very little depth and would have to add many more players to become competitive, but with Dwight Howard and Deron Williams, they would have two players who are arguably in the top two at their position. It certainly would make the East a lot more interesting.

Jared Dudley: Chris Paul Without Dwight Howard Would Make Lakers Worse

According to Yahoo! Sports, Chris Paul is headed to the Lakers. The proposed deal will send Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom to the Hornets in exchange for CP3. The Houston Rockets could also be involved. The details will soon be hashed out, but it appears phase one of the Lakers makeover is complete.  With Andrew Bynum not a part of the reported trade, it would stand to reason that he could be a centerpiece for another trade that would bring Dwight Howard to L.A.

Assuming all the information is accurate, the first (only?) trade raises an interesting point.  As I Am a GM shared with us, Suns forward Jared Dudley provided his opinion on the rumors via his Twitter account Thursday.  Does he have a point?

“I’m hearing all this chatter about CP3 to the Lakers and Pau to (Houston),” Dudley wrote. “I’m telling you now if they do that and don’t get Howard then (they’re) worse.”

If the Paul trade is indeed what Wojnarowski says it is, common sense would tell you the Lakers intend to use Bynum as a facilitator for adding Howard.  But what if it doesn’t happen?  If for some reason the Lakers are unable to pull off a trade for Superman, did they just make themselves worse?

L.A. has obviously improved their backcourt, but they would need to add a role player or two to compensate for their lack of size.  In fact, even if they trade for Howard they will still be smaller than they were last season, and front court depth has been one of their strengths.  Obviously exchanging Gasol, Odom, and Bynum for Paul and Howard yields more talent, but the Lakers are giving up an awful lot of size and depth in their front court.

Given Bynum’s injury history and inconsistency, the Lakers are now in a position where they have to find a way to acquire Howard.  If they can, they will immediately become the favorite to win it all this season and possibly for years to come — size or no size.