Within a seven-hour span, my opinion on whether the Lakers should pursue Dwight Howard completely changed.
Call me fickle and uninformed. But the same could apply to Howard, too. After constantly going back and forth on whether he wants to stay with the Orlando Magic or leave for presumably greener pastures, Howard finally put his proverbial foot down. He told Yahoo Sports on Sunday night that he wants to play for one specific team, which sources close to him indicated was the Brooklyn Nets. But that wish blew up in his face when the Nets reached a deal to acquire Atlanta forward Joe Johnson, guaranteeing they wouldn't have enough cap space or assets to secure Howard.
My opinion has changed on Howard simply because of the circumstances. The main uncertainty in the Lakers swapping Andrew Bynum for Howard involved his long-term future with the purple & gold. He made it clear through back channels he had no desire in following in Shaquille O'Neal's footsteps. Howard also offered unenthusiastic responses toward playing second fiddle behind Kobe Bryant. That backdrop put the Lakers at huge risk by giving up a huge asset only to see Howard leave after one season.
That framework changes, however, with the Nets getting Johnson. The Lakers have stronger negotiating power in convincing Howard he likes sunny Los Angeles. After that a mix of winning, excellent weather, fewer options and the Hollywood spotlight could convince Howard to stay. After all, who could see Howard having trouble saying no to that backdrop when he's already agonized so much over possibly leaving Orlando?