Per Matt Formica of Hoopsvibe.com, Johnson took a controversial stance on Howard’s situation:
Magic Johnson just made it clear (on National TV) that if he was Lakers CEO Jim Buss, he would trade Dwight Howard.
“If I’m Mark Cuban, I would say this, I would call Jim Buss and say look, ‘I’ve always wanted Dwight Howard. Can we make a deal before the trade deadline?'” He went on to say, “Because you know once the summer comes, Mark is going to go after him anyway. But if he gets him in a trade, he can pay him more money and maybe he’ll stay. Because Atlanta’s going to try and get Dwight Howard. I think New Jersey’s going to be in play and and try to get him so Mark Cuban, go after him! And give away everyone but Dirk. That’s what I would do.”
I really feel bad for the Los Angeles Dodgers, because it’s clear Johnson should not be allowed to have any kind of say in the matters of what’s right and wrong for a sports organization.
Again, the Lakers aren’t going to trade Howard. I’ve said it before, because it’s the truth. They didn’t spend more than a year pining over his existence just to rent him for a half season before shipping him off. That makes no sense.
What makes even less sense is Johnson’s thought process here. If he wants to say Los Angeles should deal Dwight that’s fine (it’s really not), but couldn’t he pick a more realistic destination than the Dallas Mavericks?
Johnson was very specific in his assertion that the Mavericks should deal anyone but Dirk Nowitzki to get Howard. Are you freaking kidding me? Who does Dallas have of value besides the one they call Dirk? O.J. Mayo is a talented player and there is a case to be made for Darren Collison, but if you’re the Lakers, and you’re dumb enough to trade Howard at all, are you really daft enough to ship him out without receiving Nowitzki in return?
Absolutely not. Unless you’re Johnson that is.
Trolling the Lakers has become a bit of an overdone tradition with the former Los Angeles great. He’s been nothing but critical of the Lakers the entire season, which is fine, because they deserve it. But he’s taken his poor analysis to a whole other level here. And not in a good way.
Howard is the future in Los Angeles. In case Johnson hasn’t noticed, Kobe Bryant is 34, Pau Gasol 32 and Steve Nash is pushing 39. Howard is 27 and currently the only bright spot in the Lakers’ future. Why are they going to give that up at all, let alone for a package from the Mavericks consisting of average to below average talent?
The notion that Los Angeles needs to trade Dwight is ridiculous. What the Lakers need to do is find a way to snag some depth. What they need to do is start playing defense, to start rotating on defense. What they need to do is play with some heart, some championship caliber will.
Moving Howard isn’t suddenly going to solve any of those issues, especially considering he’s what has prevented the Lakers from giving up 150 or more points a game (kidding).
If I’m the Lakers, I’m open to change—but not big change. This roster was overhauled less than a year ago and still needs time to figure itself out. Acquiring some depth, however, is not something they should be opposed to.
Trading Howard, though, is.
Take note, Magic.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.