Los Angeles Lakers: Mitch Kujpcha

Five reasons why Dwight Howard for Andrew Bynum makes sense for the Lakers

July, 4, 2012
7/04/12
12:37
AM PT
Kamenetzky By Brian Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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UPDATE (8:11 pm PT) - Obviously this was written before tonight's bombshell, with the Lakers acquiring Steve Nash from Phoenix. How it impacts the possibility/probability of a Bynum-for-Howard deal I can't say. It could make it more likely, it could make it less. Ultimately, it's still on the Nets to put together a viable deal. If they can't, though, and the Lakers have a chance to pull the trigger, my thoughts regarding what's below don't change. Assuming his back is on track, you do that deal, even if Howard won't commit right away to an extension.

Put Dwight Howard with that crew, erasing mistakes defensively and the Lakers become a terrifying group.


On the winds of epic-level wishy-washiness, Dwight Howard has officially sailed his S.S. Destiny into an offshore barrier reef. Now that Brooklyn has re-upped with Deron Williams, traded for Joe Johnson, and so on, the simplest, cleanest paths for Howard to his preferred destination have been gummed up. He can still join Jay-Z's crew, but between their financial constraints and a lack of high-end options to send back, as John Hollinger notes (Insider required), squeezing Howard onto their roster could be difficult for the Nets on a few levels.

Brooklyn still must form a deal satisfying the Magic while navigating the CBA's arcane mathematical demands. If they can't, the landscape changes and Howard's "Plan B" cities are back in play. With Andrew Bynum, the Lakers, not a team in which Howard had expressed much (if any) interest, can still offer Orlando the single best player known to be available in the endless trade conversations surrounding Superman over the last couple years.

That's always a good place to start, but would the Lakers move him without a firm commitment from Howard on an extension? Should they?

Without it, the Lakers would risk sacrificing Bynum for what amounts to a one-year rental. Still, assuming Howard's surgically repaired back is healing up and won't be a long-term problem -- a major issue, obviously -- there are compelling reasons to take a shot, even without securing assurances from Howard on the front end:

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Kobe Bryant
PTS AST STL MIN
24.1 5.0 1.4 35.4
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Hill 8.0
AssistsK. Bryant 5.0
StealsR. Price 1.4
BlocksE. Davis 1.3