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Yes, the Lakers should finally make the deal for Howard.
Look, I am a realist. No matter who is acquired or remains on the team, the Lakers will be Kobe Bryant's club until he retires or his current contract ends.
The fact is, the Lakers will not deal Bryant because, even if they were interested, no team will assume the figures on his deal.
Anyone who thinks No. 24 is going anywhere is mistaken. So, with the awareness that Kobe is going to be the "lead dog" and continue firing up the most shots, it is practical to build a team around that.
With that said, dealing Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard makes the most sense.
Yes, Bynum made huge strides this year, and yes, I do believe he has not reached his full potential. But the main reason I continue to rank Dwight Howard as the best center in the NBA is not because of his offensive game. No, it is the other end of the court the Lakers need to address. And quite simply, Andrew Bynum is not the defensive stopper/presence that Dwight Howard is.
I not only account for rebounding and shot blocking, but the ability to recover and alter shots. Bynum is beaten down the floor consistently by faster pivot players. One only needs to look back at the Denver series to see Kenneth Faried and JaVale McGee consistently beating Bynum down the court for easy buckets.
The fact is, the Lakers have to have an eraser of mistakes inside. Bynum is good, but he is no Howard. No one in the game is, when Howard is on.
Offensively, it is invariably a wash, because again, Kobe Bryant is going to be the number one option on that side of the court. So for the Lakers to contend next year, they need a pivot player who can offset some of the team's overall defensive liabilities. Once Howard is acquired, I can not honestly see a scenario where he would want to leave Los Angeles.
Much the same way the Clippers rolled the dice on Chris Paul, the Lakers should make this deal happen. Finally.