HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — This isn’t the first time a wild card team has been injected into the Dwight Howard conversation, and it certainly won’t be the last.
But we challenge you or anyone else to find a more intriguing twist than the Orlando Magic superstar joining the reigning Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder in their quest for a Larry O’Brien trophy.
Sure, it sounds far-fetched, given that the Thunder have never been considered even a remote factor in the Howard discussion and Thunder general manager Sam Presti‘s well-versed championship plan is already in full swing without Howard.
Still, in a summer when basically anything goes when we’re talking theories, can you imagine a more imposing lineup than what the Thunder could throw at teams if Howard was the man in the middle?
John Rhode of the Oklahoman mentioned it in passing in his examination of Presti’s “slow and steady” championship blueprint, raising some interesting points along the way:
OKC could throw its name into the Howard hopper and offer Kendrick Perkins, James Harden and Eric Maynor in a Howard sign-and-trade with Orlando, but doing so would abandon the Presti Plan and give the perception he had gone about things all wrong.
Then again, it potentially could result in an NBA title or two with a starting lineup of Howard, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha and Serge Ibaka, not to mention a season record for blocked shots and a high-dollar existence above the league’s luxury tax.
Presti is booking that slow and steady eventually will win the race to the NBA crown, which is why the Thunder is a tortoise in a league filled with hares.
While big-market teams have the means to play Texas Hold ’em, small-market places like OKC compete as best they can by playing five-card stud.
“You gotta stick together, even when the water’s a little rough,” Presti said. “Ultimately, we’ve got a vision for the organization that we’re trying to maintain on a daily basis, but it’s hard to do that and history shows that.”
This is the silly season, so you have to take all speculation (here and everywhere else) with a giant grain of kosher salt. Fantasy basketball is allowed, though, even if it is for just a fleeting moment on a Monday morning before the world moves on to more serious things.
And without any real movement on the Howard front since last week’s revelations and refutations surrounding Howard’s interest, or lack thereof, in joining the Lakers for the long-term, we’re left to our own imaginations where Howard’s future is concerned.