While it is obvious to most basketball fans that the Lakers do not need Dwight Howard, it should be more than apparent that at some point they wanted him.
However, after news of Dwight’s off-the-court issues and the fiasco that we all witnessed this season, it would be a stretch for L.A. to still be interested and ready to invest long term in Howard.
Los Angeles will be faced with a difficult decision with Andrew Bynum on whether to keep the big man and give him the $20 million per year he will request or trade him now.
After the regular season Bynum had, his value will be sky high, but the Lakers organization has been around enough quality big men to know Bynum is not of that ilk.
The Jersey native is good, but he is not a champion.
The opportunity to get younger and deeper while adding the best point guard in the game will give the purple and gold enough incentive to make the move.
After years of saying no to numerous trades, the Lakers make the move many have been waiting for and trade Andrew Bynum to the Brooklyn Nets as part of a three-team trade.
Sacramento Kings Get...
Center Brook Lopez (17.4 points per and 7.5 rebounds per)
New Jersey Nets’ 2013 and 2014 first-round picks (top three protected)
Sacramento Makes This Deal Because...
It allows them to start over as they try to move to a new arena. The Kings have not won with Evans as their leader and have let it be known they will listen to offers.
Kings President Geoff Petrie has a history of dealing players for quality big men. He traded Mitch Richmond for then-troubled but talented big man Chris Webber. The Kings have experienced problems with Cousins and will be faced with the decision of signing him to a long-term deal next offseason.
The opportunity to bring Fresno native Brook Lopez back to the area where he played his high school ball and secure a possible top-10 pick to go along with the pick the Kings already have will be tough to pass up.
The deal will be sealed once the Nets agree to send cash to the money-strapped Kings.
L.A. Lakers Get...
Power Forward DeMarcus Cousins (15. 9 points per and 9.7 rebounds per)
Point Guard Deron Williams (17.6 point per and 9.2 assists per)
Guard/Forward John Salmons (10.0 points per and 3.1 rebounds per)
Los Angeles Makes This Deal Because...
It gets them the point guard they have so desperately needed. This also allows L.A. to compete for titles in the Western Conference for the next four years, which will be the duration of Williams’ contract. Lost in the chants of “trade everyone” is the Lakers would like to rebuild at some point without losing.
With two years remaining on both Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol’s contract, it makes very little sense for the Lakers to extend Bynum, who has already exhibited injury and focus issues.
In three years, LA would have $48.6 million in cap space available and a top-five point guard to come play with.
The Lakers do take back a bad contract in John Salmons, but he will provide much-needed athleticism and scoring to the Lakers' bench.
This deal places the Lakers back into legitimate title contention by allowing them to defend opposing teams' point guards and play either a half-court game or uptempo. The thinking is Los Angeles cannot get Williams, which is false.
In short, Williams gets the same amount of money if he signs straight up with a team versus if he does a sign-and-trade. So once the guard did not re-sign with Brooklyn, he made it known he was willing to take less money to leave.
The Lakers' payroll last season was roughly $86,342,229, which put them third in the league. An addition of Williams combined with the subtraction of Andrew Bynum and Metta World Peace, based on the 4.5 percent raise Williams is entitled, would put the Lakers right around that amount next year.
Still, there is a chance they could be lowered because NBA contracts sometimes stagger and are not done on average. Either way, L.A. would not be over extending itself to add Williams and would recoup any luxury tax penalties in playoff and road sales revenue.
Brooklyn Nets Get...
Point Guard Tyreke Evans (18.2 points per and 5.3 assists per)
Center Andrew Bynum (11.7 points per and 7.8 rebounds per)
Forward Metta World Peace (14.2 points per and 4.7 rebounds per)
Forward Francisco Garcia (8.6 points per and 2.8 rebounds per)
New Jersey Makes This Deal Because...
They have wanted a star to rebuild around and need to generate hype as they move to Brooklyn.
Nets general manager Billy King is very familiar with former Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans based on his time with 76ers and Evans being born in raised just 15 minutes away in Chester, PA.
The chance to add North Jersey native Andrew Bynum and Queens native Metta World Peace to a lineup featuring a young gunner would give Brooklyn the cache the desperately seek.
This deal makes Brooklyn at the very least a real playoff contender. In a division that features a rebuilding Boston and sporadic the Knicks, Brooklyn can entertain the thoughts of winning their division.
Cousins is not coming to the Lakers to be a star—he is coming to be their starting center. The 6’11" power forward should not have a problem switching to center.
The former Kentucky Wildcat is tough, can score inside and, most of all, is under contract for just two more seasons at $8.7 million. The second year is a team option and runs parallel with the end of both Bryant and Gasol’s contract.
DeMarcus has been questioned since he entered the league, but would flourish under head coach Mike Brown, who is one of the best big men teachers in the game going back to his San Antonio Malik Rose and Tim Duncan days.