There's a couple new reports out there that the Los Angeles Lakers could be shopping Dwight Howard, likely due to his lackidasical play.
Howard hasn't played with the passion or skill that everyone knows he's capable of, and he's also known for selling out his coaches after what transpired with Stan Van Gundy in Orlando.
Chicago Bulls reporter Sam Smith reported that Dwight asked for Phil Jackson, and wasn't too happy when they didn't get him. Smith wrote:
“It’s not that acknowledged, but the Lakers went to Jackson on the suggestion of Howard’s 'people,' whomever they may be. The Lakers had distanced themselves from Jackson because they didn’t believe he wanted to coach, and probably wouldn’t have had a change of heart to try if not for Howard’s suggestion. Though there are conflicting reports of what exactly happened, it is clear patriarch Jerry Buss overruled his management and rejected Jackson’s third return.”
The argument sounds suspicious since it's coming from a writer outside of Los Angeles, but he's respectable so it could hold some water.
However, another new report from Ramona Shelburne, says the team could be shopping him as a result of his dissatisfaction, writing:
“Sources told ESPN.com this week the Lakers might be forced to reconsider that position between now and the Feb. 21 trade deadline because of Howard's growing unhappiness with his role under coach Mike D'Antoni and the potential that raises for Howard leaving them in July without compensation.”
Dwight hasn't been very effective at all in D'Antoni's offense, which everyone would agree is not the best offensive option for this team, and they struggle to get him the ball, so it's easy to see why he's unhappy.
It would be much better for the Lakers to trade a player like Pau Gasol, but unfortunately he's too expensive for most teams, and frankly, not consistently worth the money.
The problem may partially be Dwight's attitude, but ultimately it resides in D'Antoni's system which he is unwilling to change even though it is clearly not working. Hopefully this is just a move by management to light a fire under Dwight's ass (and yes, they shouldn't have to do that) and make him play better.
Right now these are just reports and rumors, with no official statements from the team, but it's definitely something to look out for.