From the desk of: THE HOOPS OF FLATBUSH
BROOKLYN NETS: There Goes That Dwight Howard Trade Talk Again.
Dwight Howard of the Lakers sat out Monday's action with a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Initial reports suggest he will be out at least a week before being re-evaluated. Why should we here in Brooklyn care about that? Because Monday, Stefan Bondy of the N.Y. Daily News reported Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant are not exactly getting along out in La La Land. The two Lakers stars were reportedly involved in a post-game New Year's Day dispute. Kobe Bryant took to Twitter to douse the story. Subsequent media coverage questioned the validity of Bondy's source, whether the altercation did indeed happen, and why such a report came out one week later. That's not for me to decipher though. But what the story also did was kick up the Dwight Howard to the Brooklyn Nets talk again.
Is Dwight Howard still a fit in Brooklyn? He keeps supplying me with reasons which indicate no. Let me not mince words here. Dwight Howard was too wishy-washy in Orlando. He did not conduct his business with any conviction and it cost him an extra season of being a nomad. So far, his resulting stay in Los Angeles hasn't exactly been a trip to Disney World. Howard wasn't too complimentary of his team mates or their effort on the floor recently. Clashing with Kobe will only get you so far. Criticising team chemistry to the media isn't always advisable either. It must be remembered that Dwight Howard is coming off back surgery, and is now saddled with an extended injury. The twenty-seven year old center is averaging 17.4 points this season with twelve boards. He will be a free agent after this season. So if he is to become a Nets player, he must be traded for as the Nets are maxed out. Then a new pact must be struck.
Minus a week long scare after slightly twisting his ankle, Brook Lopez is showing no lingering effects from his foot surgery. The twenty-four year old is averaging 18.9 points per game, with seven boards. Not coincidentally, per the CBA and his new contract, Brook Lopez can be made available for a trade again January 15th. So it seems natural for these rumors to resurface. Of course Brook Lopez would have to be traded. But if the Nets can't move Kris Humphries, I don't think a deal gets done. Before the season, I argued by keeping points and rebounds separated, Lopez and Humphries would be a good way to hedge against Howard's potential back issues, and avoid having two huge aspects of the Nets game go down with the loss of one body. Feeling the Nets were sure to get twenty points from Lopez, I was hopeful Kris Humphries would continue progressing into a dominant rebounder. Scratch that! Kris Humphries is far far away from what he could be. Avery Johnson isn't here anymore, so he's out of the proverbial dog house. Now Humph is nursing a sprained ankle. And that was the good news. Truth is, with a completely different cast around him this season, Kris Humphries is a totally different dynamic now. Throwing pity parties in the VIP of the Lonely Man's Club doesn't exactly endear one to the greater fan base either. Not after his very brief marital history. Whether that has hampered him on the court or not, with the exception of maybe two games his ineffectiveness just might warrant a trade for Howard, if...Billy King can push him. Kris Humphries, while signed for the max still has a favorable, movable short term contract.
The Nets offered the Orlando Magic Brook Lopez, Marshawn Brooks, Kris Humphries, and picks for Dwight Howard. The Magic didn't bite. Although a trade is very doubtful, if L.A. will take Humphries off the Nets hands, maybe Billy King should try. We'll worry how Dwight Howard fits in Brooklyn later.