Alright, Let's Talk About Dwight Howard

Will Dwight trade in his jersey for a green one? Don't count on it.

I've been avoiding this subject for weeks and even months.  In part because I don't want to get my hopes up or feed the inevitable conversations that have and will continue to spring up on this site about this subject.  But there's not a lot of interesting news coming out and unless you want to talk about how great the Heat are, this is what we're left with.

So yeah, there's a chance that the Celtics could sign only 1 year free agents this summer, wait through a whole year of speculation and drama, drop the rights to KG and Ray and probably have to trade away draft picks to free up extra cap space, and put all their eggs into the "sign Dwight Howard" basket.  He's a dominant game changer and when you have a chance to do get a guy like that, you have to at least explore the possibility.  The idea of pairing him with Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green and "fill in whomever else you want" is enough to make any Celtics fan salivate.  I get it.

But it isn't going to happen.

No, technically I can't offer any proof or even a solid, well-thought-out rationale.  But nobody can at this point.  We don't know what the new CBA will be like, we don't know what Dwight's true intentions are, and we don't know what the Magic are going to do this offseason that may or may not make Dwight excited about signing an extension.

So with that caveat in place, here are some reasons why I don't think he'll be playing in Boston on his next contract.

Why would he want to leave?  It is beautiful in Orlando, there are no state taxes (which is huge when talking about that kind of money), and he's got a chance to be a legendary figure there.  He has seen what has happened to LeBron and has even invoked the name of Shaq.  He knows what leaving Orlando would do to his reputation and I don't think he's the kind of guy that wants that.  He's fine using this threat as leverage to make sure his team goes out and makes good trades, but I think ultimately it will be an empty threat.

There's even a rumor that he's close to signing a 2 year extension already.  That rumor seems to be unconfirmedand denied by all parties, but it is out there.  I'm pretty sure the Magic have given him a blank check and any pen he wants to sign with, but it would be silly for Howard to sign something without first seeing what the new CBA would bring.

There's a very good chance that the new CBA will include incentives and new rules (perhaps a quasi-Franchise Tag provision) that allows teams with superstars to have more ability to re-sign those superstars.  In short, to avoid the Melo-drama that unfolded last year where a team is forced to offload their star a year before they take the first train out of town via free agency.  Opportunity is important but at the end of the day money talks and if the home team can provide lots more money, chances are he'll take that check.

And if he's bent on leaving and absolutely must get out of town, chances are he'll want to focus his efforts on getting to Los Angeles or Dallas or any number of places - especially if he can team up with Chris Paul or Deron Williams.  Would Boston be somewhere on that list with Rondo already in place?  I am sure they'd be somewhere down the list, but I'm not crazy about rolling the dice on that one scenario and letting it shape our business dealings for the next year.

Keep in mind, the Big 3 aren't dead yet.  Ray and KG still have another year under contract and Pierce a few more.  Next year might end up being a bridge year anyway, but you have to at least give it a good shot this year.  That means re-signing Jeff Green, going after someone with whatever mid level dollars we might have, and making smart moves for the present and future.  If Danny can do all that and still maintain the cap flexibility to make a run at Howard in 2012, well, then he's a better GM than I thought (and I'm still a big supporter of Dan).

So is there a chance we could sign Dwight Howard?  Sure, I guess.  I'm just not holding my breath.  Do I think that anything I just said will stop many of you from dreaming about Howard in Green?  Absolutely not.  So enjoy!

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