Why wouldn’t it happen? Let us count the ways.
Well, for one, Dirk has made it clear he plans to retire with the Mavs. He has a championship ring, so he doesn’t feel the need to go elsewhere to chase one, although it sure is hard for him to stomach losing so much all of the sudden.
Nevertheless, Dirk feels a strong sense of loyalty to Mavericks fans and Mark Cuban, who put a no-trade clause in Nowitzki’s contract. As tempting as it might be to reunite with his pass-first pal Steve Nash in a system perfectly suited for a stretch four, Dirk isn’t ditching Dallas in the middle of the Mavs’ first losing season in a dozen years.
And Dirk would have to put Cuban in a headlock and squeeze hard to force a trade. Even if the Mavs could get the best big man of this generation in return, this deal would be a major risk for Dallas. Maybe the money would be enough to convince Howard to stick around this summer, but would he really want to be the centerpiece for a full-fledged rebuilding process in an unfamiliar town? He might just jump for to his hometown Hawks for a max deal with one less year on it.
The whole point of creating all that cap space is to pair Dirk with a superstar, not replace him with one.
Oh, and then there’s the Lakers: You really think L.A. wants to give up a center in his prime who could continue the George Mikan-Wilt Chamberlain-Kareem Abdul-Jabbar-Shaquille O’Neal lineage for a future Hall of Famer in his golden years?
Other than not making much sense for any of the parties, this throw-it-against-the-wall proposal makes perfect sense.