The only thing Ric Bucher and Chris Broussard like to do more than report on the NBA is argue about the NBA. So we decided to combine those two skills for Insider's weekly One-on-One series, in which they'll debate the hottest topics in the association.
Question: If he decides to leave the Orlando Magic, where should Dwight Howard sign in 2012?
BROUSSARD: It would be nice if Dwight Howard bucked the trend of superstars leaving home for greener pastures when he becomes a free agent in 2012, but there's a very good chance he won't. So, in the event that he does indeed leave, I argue he should take his talents not to South Beach but to Venice Beach and become the next great Los Angeles Lakers big man. The Lakers won't have the cap room to sign him outright, but I could see them offering up Andrew Bynum in a trade when the time comes.
BUCHER: If I were a betting man -- oh, wait, I AM a betting man -- I'd put my money on Howard going to the Lakers. It's what I've heard he'd like to do and, seeing as he seems to be working off the Shaquille O'Neal blueprint for career arcs (one NBA Finals appearance in Orlando, endless impersonations, free throw problems, Superman fixation), it almost seems preordained. But that's a big part of why I believe he shouldn't go there: It's been done, and the chances of Howard coming anywhere close to what Shaq did as a Laker are -- well, I'd bet on that, too. Against him.
If he wants to go to a big market, take advantage of his engaging personality off the court and make an indelible mark on the league, he goes to the New Jersey Nets, joins forces with Deron Williams and completely transforms the franchise, an achievement he will be remembered -- and cherished -- for forever.