Dwight Howard’s Decision Will Lead to Long-Term Trouble for Los Angeles Lakers

The decision of one man has transformed the future of the Los Angeles Lakers from promising to depressing.

Dwight Howard had a choice to play for any of five teams pursuing him in free agency. After an up-and-down year with the Lakers, he announced on his Twitter account that he will sign with the Houston Rockets:

This has a big impact that will be felt around the league, as Houston now becomes one of the top contenders in the Western Conference. Unfortunately, things are now much worse for Los Angeles.

Despite the problems last season, the Lakers still had one of the more talented squads in the NBA. Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant are future Hall of Famers in the backcourt, while Pau Gasol and Howard provided an elite tandem in the frontcourt. 

The major problem was that the foursome was rarely healthy at the same time. When they were, the lack of experience of playing together hurt the squad's ability to win consistently. Still, the team was able to get into the postseason even with these issues.

If the center had decided to return next season, Los Angeles would have been a realistic title contender heading into next season. There is still loads of talent on the roster and the group would have been able to stay near the top of the standings even without Bryant, who is recovering from an Achilles injury.

Once the veteran guard returned, the team would have had a formidable lineup that few would be able to match.

Additionally, Howard would have slowly been able to transition toward becoming the face of the franchise for when Bryant eventually retires. The team could have continued to build around the 27-year-old player and maintained the level of success it is used to having.

Unfortunately, none of that will happen now that the All-Star is headed to Houston. What is left is a roster without a go-to scorer for much of the year and an aging Nash and Gasol le...

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