And the “Dwight Howard said he would play here” tour has moved on to Chicago.
This has all the meaning of a Kardashian wedding vow, but here is the quote from the Chicago Tribune when Howard was asked if he would be open to playing in Chicago with Derrick Rose.
“If I could play with Derrick right now and God wanted that to happen, it will happen,” Howard told the Tribune. “It has nothing to do with me not wanting to play with Derrick Rose. I love him. That’s my brother.”
Howard also tried to shoot down the report that Adidas didn’t want Rose and Howard — their two biggest stars — on the same team.
“It has nothing to do with Adidas,” Howard said. “In fact, Adidas would love that because me and Derrick have the same guy.”
As we have talked about before, Howard is stealing a page from the Carmelo Anthony/LeBron James “force a trade out of town playbook.” Part of that is saying you are open to playing anywhere for any team, just being vague and saying that your agent or God or someone else is in charge but not you.
Which is a load of crap. If Howard wanted to force his way to Chicago he could (or at least could try), but that city was not on the list presented to the Magic. (Those teams were the Lakers, Mavericks, Nets and later the Clippers were added.)
For the Bulls, it would really be a matter of how much they would have to give up — right now they are title contenders on pretty much equal footing with the Miami Heat in the East (they could have won that game Sunday on the road without Luol Deng). If you are that close, do you mess with the team chemistry? Rose and Howard would be an awesome pairing, but if you want evidence of what happens when you strip a roster to get a star, look to New York.
There will be more of these stories out there before the deadline. While the Bulls may make more sense on some level than other teams, until Howard puts them on his list and pushes for it everything is moot.