Dwight Howard’s been a lot of places since helping the Orlando Magic reach their second final appearance in club history back in 2009.
It seemed like he would spend his entire career in the Sunshine State back then as he led a team with veterans like Hedo Turkoglu, Jameer Nelson and Rashard Lewis. Things rarely happen as they are planned though.
He was traded to Los Angeles four summers later and helped get the Lakers to the playoffs that season after undergoing back surgery and battling adjustment to the differences in personnel.
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Recently, Superman sat down with Marc. J. Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated to talk about what the plans were before he got traded to L.A. and where he thought he was going to initially end up after asking for a trade.
Howard said: “They came in and said, “We’re going to trade you.’ They shook my hand and said, ‘God bless you. You were here for eight years and you did a great job.’ They asked me to go shake my teammates’ hands.
“I was supposed to get traded right before training camp. I had asked them to trade me to Brooklyn and I thought that was going to happen. They decided they weren’t going to trade me and that was when all hell broke loose.”
The front line in Brooklyn would have been totally different with an All-Star center among the ranks as Brook Lopez didn’t become one until 2013. He likely would have been traded in exchange for Howard in such a deal.
After the failed trade, the Magic had to deal with the cloud of Dwight’s free agency hanging over the entire team for the rest of the season even though he thought he was going to be traded.
That season kickstarted all of the negative fan opinion that has followed him to multiple stops along his career. Things didn’t end up working out with the Lakers due to a difference in playing philosophies between Mike D’Antoni and Howard.
Later in Houston, James Harden and D12’s partnership was rocky at best as they made the Western Conference Finals together in 2015.
Now in Atlanta, the hometown kid has been offered the chance at a fresh start in his and a star role on the team that he followed closely in his youth.
This season started off well for Atlanta as they had a positive record through most of the first two month of the campaign before they started to slide.
No one knows how the three-time Defensive Player of the Year winner’s career would have gone differently if he had been traded to the team he was told he was going to. The past is the past now and he will have to do his best to lift the Atlanta Hawks to the playoffs.