With a Dwight Howard trade appearing imminent, we have to ask, why isn't he a Laker yet?
Los Angeles is by far the most logical destination for Howard, even if it's not exactly where he wants to end up.
There is no player Orlando could possibly get in a Howard trade that is even close to Andrew Bynum in terms of talent. He started the All-Star Game last year and could potentially be a franchise player if given the chance.
If Orlando really wants a young stud for Howard, Bynum is their only option. Brook Lopez is soft and overrated, and we don't even know if Atlanta is willing to part with Al Horford.
Bynum is their play. He is the only player they'll get who comes close to equal value. If they can land Bynum and dump Hedo Turkoglu they'll be well on their way to rebuilding their team.
On LA's end it is simple. If they get Howard they are the undisputed title favorites.
I don't care what you say about Miami, how could you possibly bet against a team that has Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol. Throw in Hedo Turkoglu (who would likely come in a trade), Jordan Hill, Matt Barnes and another free agent or two we haven't heard of yet and the Lakers would actually be a pretty deep team as well.
Howard has never played with a point guard like Nash. He could get him the ball in better positions to score than he's ever had.
Howard has never played with a scorer like Kobe Bryant. He would open up space for him down low that could allow him to become a truly dominating center.
Howard has also never had a big man on his team like Pau Gasol. Gasol would open up even more space down low for Howard.
Simply put, a theoretical big four of Bryant, Howard, Nash and Gasol is as close to unbeatable as you'll find in modern sports.
Even if Dwight Howard bolts after a year as a free agent, the Lakers can't give up that kind of opportunity. Before signing Nash they had no chance to win the 2013 title. With him and Howard they'd become as close to a lock as we've ever seen.
If the goal is to win a championship, Howard is their play. In fact, such a trade would put the Lakers in a position to win multiple titles over the next three years and then rebuild entirely around Howard.
Here's the point. Orlando isn't going to find a better rebuilding chip than Bynum, and Los Angeles isn't going to find a better contending chip than Dwight Howard. If those are their respective goals, they have to make this trade happen.