Dwight Howard Trade Rumors: LA Lakers Will Regret Not Dealing for D12

David DanielsSenior Writer IJune 29, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 14:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic drives on Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the third quarter of Game Five of the 2009 NBA Finals on June 14, 2009 at Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida.  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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Laker Nation is holding their breaths.

After over a year of speculation that the Los Angeles Lakers would land Dwight Howard, they’re still in position to acquire him. If LA fails to get a deal done, they’ll be haunted be the decision for the next decade.

Sam Amico of FOX Sports reported Thursday night that if Howard is still a member of the Orlando Magic on Saturday, Los Angeles should throw a parade:

Source close to situation says if Dwight Howard isn't dealt to Rockets today or tomorrow, Lakers fans may have reason to get excited. "Rockets are exhausting resources. If it's not enough, (Lakers) will likely move in within the next few weeks."

If you’re still in denial that Andrew Bynum is a better center than D12, you’re never going to get it.

Howard defines consistency—he’s averaged 20 points and 14 boards a game for the past five years. Bynum never has more than flashes of brilliance. It’s impossible to predict which nights he’ll show up and take off.

While Bynum has an edge over Howard as a low-post defender, that lone advantage does nothing for the Lakers NBA Finals aspirations.

LA doesn’t need a dominant low-post defender. The Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder don’t have a soul that’s capable of taking over offensively down low.

What the Lakers need is an elite help defender to protect the rim from a penetrating LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. And in that area, Howard’s athleticism makes him superior to Bynum.

Los Angeles’ inability to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder was never more apparent than this postseason. Being one of the most talented teams in the league isn’t enough to make the Finals. Unless they make changes, they won’t advance past the Thunder who’ll only get better with age.

Upgrading the bench won’t slow down Durant, Westbrook and Harden. Trading for Howard will.

 

David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.