The Los Angeles Lakers pulled off a blockbuster trade this summer acquiring Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic. The so-called “Dwightmare” lasted for almost two seasons, causing great tension in the City of Orlando. The Magic were not sure what they could do with their star center and the trade rumors hurt the team on and off the court.
Just a few years ago, LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat. The NBA hoped the new Collective Bargaining Agreement would partly give teams more power in negotiations. However, the Dwight Howard situation showed that the players have ultimate control of where they end up going.
Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver spoke to the media prior to the Hawks-Magic game and talked about what the Howard-Magic saga, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
“It’s an unfortunate circumstance,” Silver answered. “I don’t want to sugarcoat it. It’s been that way since the beginning of time, certainly since the beginning of this league. In this league in particular, superstar players have enormous leverage. We talked about, in the collective bargaining negotiations, how we can put teams in an optimal position where that doesn’t happen, and that is by giving teams the opportunity to offer longer-term contracts and greater amounts of money per year.
Dwight Howard’s acquisition was not the first time the Lakers got a star Center from a small market team. Los Angeles traded for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and signed Shaquille O’Neal–two centers that led the Lakers to a total of eight titles. However, Howard’s future with the Lakers is still not clear. As of now, Howard is not signed past this season; the Lakers must make re-signing him their top priority.