NBA Rumors: Magic Should Trade Dwight Howard for Andrew Bynum Without Extension
According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers may have to agree to a trade without Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum agreeing to extensions. Both players will become free agents at the end of the season.
Regardless of this, both teams should advance on with trade talks and accept the risk.
A version of the proposed trade would have the Lakers sending Metta World Peace and Andrew Bynum to Orlando and getting Dwight Howard and likely taking on the contract of Hedo Turkoglu. The added pieces to the trade are likely just to make the financial end of the deal work.
If the Lakers can get Howard, they easily become the favorite in the Western Conference with an unbelievable offseason haul. With a lineup featuring newly-signed Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Howard, the Lakers will have gotten much better from last season and lined themselves up for a two-to-three-year title window.
With success this upcoming season, the Lakers have a good chance to being able to re-sign Howard and convincing him to extend his deal for another year or two.
In this case, Howard would still have some freedom at the end of the Lakers' window in the case he wanted to leave once Nash and Bryant are ready to hang up their sneakers.
Depending on how Howard likes playing in a much bigger market in Los Angeles, there is also the possibility that Howard could decide to become the face of the Lakers franchise after Bryant retires. With Nash and Bryant's contracts off the books at that time, the Lakers' front office will have the money to bring in another star to pair with Howard.
For the Magic, finally getting rid of Howard and his ridiculousness would be a positive in and of itself.
In getting Bynum, the Magic would have a chance to convince another star center that Orlando is the right place for him and that they are willing to build a team up around him.
There is no questioning it, the Magic are in a rebuilding phase. They could try to hold on to Howard and trade him for packages of role players from the Houston Rockets or the Brooklyn Nets, but with those trades, the Magic won't be getting an All-Star player.
According to this tweet from Wojnarowski, Bynum's shortlist of landing spots in '13 include these cities.
With a winning season and the commitment to build around him, it would seem the Magic actually have a shot compared to these other cities.
If Bynum decides to leave Orlando following the season, the Magic will have the large contract off the books and can use that money to get competitive in free agency in July 2013. By getting rid of Howard and having Bynum for possibly just a year, the Magic have a chance to develop some younger pieces and attack their rebuilding phase head-on.
With a new GM and new head coach, the Magic need a fresh start. They won't be able to get that fresh start until they finalize a deal for Howard.
At this point, trading Howard to the Lakers for Bynum makes sense for both teams—even without contract extensions for either player.
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