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The Dallas Mavericks: To Dwight Howard or not to Dwight Howard

20130428_071900_0429_spo_ldn-l-lakers-spurs4hgwebThe Los Angeles Lakers are dead, and now it does appear that center Dwight Howard may hate it so much in SoCal he may actually take less money just to get out of town and away from Kobe Bryant.

Howard got tossed from the Lakers series-ending loss against the San Antonio Spurs, after which he called the season a "nightmare".

Despite his enormous physical gifts and ability the best thing for both sides may be for Dwight to just leave. At least that's according to LA Times columnist Bill Plaschke; I tend to agree with this point of view.

At the very least, D12 with a coach like Mark D'antoni doesn't work, and this is nothing to say about his Dwight's relationship with Kobe.

Nba_g_kbdhts_400If you are the Dallas Mavericks, do you even try? Yes, yes, yes and yes. The guy sounds like a giant baby/head case but he is only 27 and a physical freak so the Mavs have to pursue this fantasy if possible.

The Lakers can offer Dwight a deal of five years at $117.9 million. The most the Mavs can offer is four years, $87.6 million. Dwight is really going to have to hate L.A. to leave $30 million on the table.

The Mavs are going to have approximately $34 billion under the cap space, and they desperately need a defender and rim protector. Maybe Tyson Chandler? OK, cheap shot but Howard is just 27 and would only be around for four years.

This much is for certain - whatever team D12 plays for it has to be about him. Or close. Dirk Nowitzki is not going to care, provided Dwight brings it and cares.

There may not be a better coach for D12 than Rick Carlisle. He respects players, and consistently has displayed the ability to coach players of all personality types without losing them.

The rub is D12 has a limit, and he is not a fan of being pushed too hard. Orlando Magic coach Jeff Van Gundy may have been a punchline, but he leaned on Dwight to be better and he was. Howard's best seasons came when Van Gundy rode him. In the end, however, all of that pushing cost him his job.

Then there is the issue of D12's body, which is beginning to show signs of not being able to hold up.

Add it all up and you have a dicey situation for a max-contract player.

Either way, if Howard elects to becomes a free agent the Mavs have to call.

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Yes, go after him. Also Minnesota is available to be fleeced for Kevin Love, who will be an unrestricted free agent after next season.

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