What LA Lakers Would Look Like Today If Dwight Howard Had Gotten His Way

If the Los Angeles Lakers had met Dwight Howard's demands this past July, both the team and the NBA as a whole would look completely different right now.

That's because, in Howard's ideal world, the Lakers would belong to him, Kobe Bryant would be set adrift on a raft in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and Phil Jackson would be seated on his sideline throne in the Staples Center.

Also, it would probably rain gummy bears and snow skittles. Howard has a sweet tooth.

Confectionery weather patterns aside, the state of NBA basketball in Howard's alternate reality is intriguing. Strangely—terrifyingly, perhaps—the Lakers might actually be in better shape both now and in the future if they'd given in and let Howard have his way.

But the potential for disaster would also have been exceptionally high.

Here's how things might look in D12's world, or, as the Lakers currently refer to it, The Darkest Timeline.


Farewell, Mamba

According to Ric Bucher of CSN Bay Area, Howard had had enough of Bryant and requested that the Lakers either "muzzle" No. 24 or send him packing via the amnesty provision.

The odds of Bryant shutting up and taking a backseat to Howard were incalculably low, and D12 definitely knew that—especially after spending a year with the in-your-face leader of the Lakers. So his request was really just a more diplomatic way of saying "either he goes, or I go."

Unsurprisingly, the Lakers sided with their iconic star over Howard.

But what if they hadn't?

For starters, the Lakers would have freed up about $30 million in salary, which would have allowed them to max out Howard and (after some roster tinkering) sign another star.

Instead of floating around in limbo during the 2013-14 season, L.A. could have fashioned a leaner, meaner team capable of making noise this season an...

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