NBA Trade Rumors: Could Bynum, Gasol for Howard Lure Deron Williams to Lakers?

Hadarii JonesSenior Writer IFebruary 28, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 20:  Pau Gasol #16 and Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrate as Bynum comes to the bench while taking on the New Orleans Hornets in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 20, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

I believe there is very little truth to the rumor floating around concerning a potential trade between the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers that would send Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol to the Magic and Dwight Howard to the Lakers.

But, I don't think it's a terrible idea.

You shouldn't either, unless you believe that Bynum is the future of the Lakers franchise and that he and Gasol are capable of leading the team to a championship this season.

If there is anyone truly gullible enough to believe either scenario please call me, I have some beach-front property in Iowa you may be interested in.

Some Lakers fans have deluded themselves into thinking that the team's front court tandem of Bynum and Gasol is too valuable to justify trading both players for Howard. But, how far has that logic carried the Lakers thus far?

And, more importantly, where will it carry them in the future?

I'm well aware that a healthy season so far this year has Bynum to career numbers, with averages of 16.3 points per game, 12.8 rebounds per game and 54.4-percent shooting, but 30 games is not quite enough to convince me that he can remain healthy for an entire NBA season.

At the rate Bynum has suffered season-ending injuries, I would need to see him complete this season and the next to feel comfortable that his knee problems were behind him. And, even then I would still trade Bynum's numbers for Howard's overall impact on a game.

Bynum has looked dominant at times in the paint, but I have yet to see his ability to affect the course of a game in the manner that Howard is able to do.

Howard can dominate a game without scoring a single point, yet he also has the ability to make 20-point/20-rebound games seem easy.

It would be a little more difficult to part with Gasol since he has meant so much to the Lakerr's recent success, but it seems like he has reached the peak of his career. Some would even argue he is on the down slope.

To be fair, the decline in Gasol's numbers could be due to his initiation into Mike Brown's new offense or the uncertainty over his status with the team, but Gasol's situation and his game are not likely to improve anytime soon.

Of course, if the Lakers found the heart to deal away Bynum and Gasol, the move would not address their most glaring flaw—the point guard position. But, if they made the move, the problem could solve itself.

 It is common knowledge that the New Jersey Nets are waiting for a resolution to Howard's situation before they decide how to deal with soon-to-be free agent point guard Deron Williams.

It is also widely assumed there is a good chance that Williams will follow Howard if he chooses any other team besides the Nets.

It may not be reasonable to think the Lakers could fashion a three-team deal that would land them both Howard and Williams, but if they pull the trigger on a deal for Howard first, they could have more leverage going forward to pursue Williams.

If the Lakers can complete that coup, it might be similar to the same future-altering deal they were seeking in their failed attempt to sign the current Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul.

Some Lakers fans feel only a minor tweak is needed to right the team's ship—an elite point guard and Howard are not necessary to compete for a championship this season.

But, if I remember correctly, last season's team were not a win or two from the NBA Finals.

The 2010-11 Lakers were swept out of the second round by the eventual champion Dallas Mavericks, and this year's team is starting from that point, not from 2010's.

The Lakers were not a championship team last year with Bynum and Gasol, and it's doubtful that a mid-level point guard will change that reality.

However, an investment in Howard could possibly change the Lakers fortunes right now, and he would definitely be a player to build around in the future.

The best could be yet to come.

I share Lakers fans' fears of abolishing the team's interior advantage in Bynum and Gasol.

But those fears are washed away by the thought of Williams and Howard potentially leading the team into the next decade.


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