As the season reaches full stride, the Lakers have grown quieter on the Dwight Howard trade front, but I'll give you three reasons why you can't dismiss L.A.'s chances just yet:
1) the pressure put on them by the Clippers trade for Chris Paul; 2) Kobe Bryant's all-consuming desire to be in title contention every year; and 3) Howard's desire to play in Los Angeles.
All that has to be weighed against what the Lakers would have to send Orlando in a trade, and it would be considerable.
Orlando seems to want both Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, and as of now, it's not clear that trade makes the Lakers any better.
Outside of Howard, Bynum is making a case as the second-best center in basketball this year. Howard is an upgrade, but how big of an upgrade?
The Lakers' most glaring need remains at point guard, and though the Howard move would make waves, I don't think the L.A. front office believes it puts them past Oklahoma City in the Western Conference.
The way Andrew Bynum is developing right now, they're just as apt to sit this out and see how the current roster comes together.