What Dwight Howard's move means for Dirk

July, 8, 2013
7/08/13
11:30
PM CT
Dwight Howard is getting ready to join the Houston Rockets, but what does his move mean for those he passed on en route to his new home?

ESPN 5-on-5 laid out how it impacted five key figures. Here's what they had to say about what it means for Dirk Nowitzki:

Henry Abbott, ESPN.com: Ouch. I guess the title window has closed in Dallas. Missing out on Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Dwight Howard -- not to mention Tyson Chandler -- is no shame. But breaking up a title winner, in Dirk's declining years, to get a great free agent, and then getting none … that hurts.

Bryan Gutierrez, Two Man Game: Dirk will remain the lone star in Dallas. Throughout his career, Dirk hasn't had reliable or consistent star support by his side, and that will continue for the immediate future. He will have to hope that the front office can give him enough support to find success as his career heads down the homestretch.

James Herbert, Hardwood Paroxysm: Nowitzki has no chance to fast-track back to the Finals now, but that was always a long shot. He'll now have to trust Mark Cuban to fill out the roster with less-than-superstar talents around him as his career winds down.

Michael Pina, Red94: Sad to say, but the stakes of Nowitzki's fictional relationship with Howard run parallel to Kobe Bryant's. Both planned to team up with Howard next season, take hometown discounts next July, then add a third max-contract-caliber player for 2014-15. As with Kobe, it wasn't meant to be in Dallas, and the likelihood Nowitzki ever makes a third Finals appearance with the Mavericks has most likely been vaporized.

Darius Soriano, Forum Blue and Gold: Another year of waiting for his organization's big plans to pay dividends. After dismantling a title team, the Mavs left Dirk on an island waiting for a reload that hasn't yet come. Although he's hinted at frustration the past two seasons, I imagine those rumblings will grow louder as another year of his career is essentially wasted on a non-contender.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsS. Marion 6.5
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9