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NBA Trade Rumors: Lakers Are the Magic's Best Option for Dealing Dwight Howard

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 30:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic drives aganst Ian Mahinmi #28 of the Dallas Mavericks during the game at Amway Center on March 30, 2012 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 Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
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Matt ShetlerCorrespondent IJuly 6, 2012

The Orlando Magic and Brooklyn Nets are still in conversation regarding a deal that would send Dwight Howard to the Nets, but the Magic need to stop conversations with the Nets immediately and focus on sending Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers.

If general manager Rob Hennigan is focused on making the best deal for the future of the Orlando franchise, then the Lakers are the only team he should be considering at the moment.

Hennigan isn't going to get fair market value for Howard, but what he has to do is make the best basketball deal possible. 

That's why the Lakers make the most sense, since no other team can offer up Andrew Bynum in a trade scenario.

There aren't many dominant big men in the NBA today, and while they would be dealing one in Howard, acquiring one in Bynum keeps Orlando in a good spot.

Hennigan can build around Bynum. You can't do that with Brook Lopez or MarShon Brooks, who are good players but not franchise-type players. Bynum is only 24 years old and has the chance to be that type of player.

He broke out during the 2011-12 season, averaging 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. He also shot 55.8 percent from the floor and 69.2 percent from the free-throw line. That's not a huge drop off in production from Howard, who averaged 20.6 points, 14.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. He shot 57.3 percent from the floor and a miserable 49.1 percent from the free-throw line.

Bynum is two years younger, and if he continues to progress, he isn't far off from being able to offer up Howard's production.

No other team can offer up a potential game-changer and that's almost a must for Orlando to get in a trade.

In addition, there's an opportunity to ship a bad contract the Lakers way in exchange for a year of dealing with Metta World Peace.

Rebuilding will be much quicker for the Magic if they have a guy of Bynum's talents to build around, which is why this should be a no-brainer for Hennigan.

It should be Lakers or bust, as no other team can come close to offering up a player of Bynum's caliber.

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