Al Iannazzone writes Thursday that the Dwight Howard Watch, which has yet to be given a snappy title like 'Melo Drama, is now underway and that he believes the NBA's top defender is likely to wind up in New York (and more likely Brooklyn than Manhattan) or Los Angeles. The reasoning, he explains, is simple.
"According to a person close to Howard," writes Iannazzone, "he wants to win, play in a major market and make movies".
While that may sound like Shaquille O'Neal's exit strategy, circa 1996, Iannazzone suggests the Magic are likely to have learned their lesson, both from losing Shaq without compensation, and from Carmelo Anthony's exit from Denver. "The Magic will do everything possible to keep Howard. But if he won’t re-sign, Orlando won’t let him walk without getting something in return, which is why the Lakers and Nets are the early favorites for Howard."
Why not the Knicks? "They could deal Stoudemire," Iannazzone writes, "but the Magic may not want his guaranteed, uninsured contract that has four years and $83 million remaining."
Iannazzone: The Dwight Howard watch kicks off - Al Iannazzone - The Record