Late last evening, the parameters of a deal that would send Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers were agreed upon, bringing the All-Star big man to the left coast. So what does this mean for our Sacramento Kings? Less than one might assume – at least, initially.
With Dwight Howard set to become a free agent at the end of the season, it’s no guarantee he’ll return to the Lakers – and that’s not a bitter King fan hating on the Lakers – just reality. With indecisiveness that would make a pre-teen blush, Howard loves the thrill of being wanted and with teams like Dallas, who’ll have cap space, this will only be a small lull in the Dwight drama.
Still, despite Howard most likely flaunting his goods around like a fresh relationship rebound, you’d think the Lakers will have the best opportunity to bring back the big man at season end. Bird rights are a lovely thing and it’s beyond rare for a player to pass up on the extra money/stability (let alone in Los Angeles), so despite what will probably be a rumor filled free agency for Dwight – I have a difficult time not seeing him return to the forum blue and gold once his self-imposed drama comes to an end.
As for the Kings franchise – it means little right now. They’ll play Dwight two more times a season and that’s about it – there’s really nothing different in the immediate future. Down the road is where things might get a bit more interesting, assuming Dwight does re-up with the Lakers.
Currently, the Kings (as composed) aren’t going to be good enough to have the Dwight acquisition matter to them but in a few years, after the team matures and grows it’s very possible the Kings could have some memorable face-off’s against Dwight and the Lakers – but those will be with a very aged (or possibly retired) Kobe Bryant, so it’s difficult to see the future there. There wont be a Steve Nash – there probably wont be a Kobe Bryant – it’ll be Dwight Howard and a new Lakeshow cast.
If there is any immediate impact for the Kings, it’s the added benefit for the Kings big men – be it Thomas Robinson, Jason Thompson or DeMarcus Cousins who all stand to gain from playing against the elite talent, all at such a young age.
The Kings are probably another year away or two from a playoff spot (even if they squeaked in this season, it would be low tier) which should coincide with a re-tooling Lakers team.
Either way, the Lakers (assuming Dwight re-signs) set themselves up well for the future and it’s hard (even if you don’t like how the pieces are assembled) to think that given Sacramento’s talented youthful core, the two wont be having some memorable battles down the road.