Magic Johnson recently said that he had lost hope in his Lakers this season, and took the opportunity to make another bold statement last night on national television.
According to hoopsvibe.com, Magic said the following during last night’s ESPN pre-game show:
“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.” – Magic Johnson
Now, clearly, Johnson put himself into the shoes of Mark Cuban, and not the front office of the Lakers, when making the somewhat peculiar suggestion. Other than Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas don’t really have any untouchables on their roster and would pretty much allow the Lakers to pick whoever they want for Howard.
The notion of contending for an NBA championship seems buried deep down in the ground for the Lakers right now, who will have to play significantly better for the remainder of the season to even make the playoffs.
Yes, the Lakers are in panic-mode, but would they ever trade Dwight Howard, fearing that the best center in the league will jump ship after this season? The answer is no.
The Lakers are counting on being able to convince Howard to stay in L.A. and serve as the centerpiece of the franchise. If the Lakers were to trade Howard before the deadline, the team would head into a future full of uncertainty.
Dwight Howard could very well leave L.A. after this season, but that is a gamble that the Lakers have to take.
What do you think? Should Mark Cuban make the call to Jim Buss, and should Buss answer? Let us know in the comment section below.