Lakers Trade Rumors: L.A. Is Magic's Only Logical Partner in Dwight Howard Swap

David DanielsSenior Writer IJuly 10, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 30:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic looks to drive 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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L.A. is and always was the Orlando Magic’s best option.

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly back in trade talks for Dwight Howard. If D12 doesn’t land in Hollywood, it’d be an absolute shock, because no other franchise is capable of offering a package even remotely close to the Lakers’ in overall value.

Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld reported that the Lakers are one of four teams currently in contact with the Magic:

With the Cavs having second thoughts about three-team deal, the Magic and Nets are discussing a simpler two-team trade, according to source.

— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 10, 2012

 

The Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Lakers have also been in contact with the Orlando Magic regarding a Dwight Howard trade.

— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 10, 2012

 

Now, let’s get real. The Brooklyn Nets' offer is a joke.

Brook Lopez is an inferior talent to Andrew Bynum. If he isn’t scoring, he’s a flat-out liability. Lopez is one of the worst rebounding and defensive centers in the entire league.

MarShon Brooks is overhyped. He’s already 23 years old—the same age as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook—but he only averaged 12.6 points per game and shot 42.8 percent from the field last season. And according to Chad Ford of ESPN, one of the Nets’ recent offers didn’t even have Brooks landing on the Magic—not that he’s a respectable trading piece in a swap for a superstar like Howard anyway.

The Houston Rockets’ attempt is just as laughable. They couldn’t offer much before they traded Kyle Lowry to the Toronto Raptors. Now, their only assets are future draft picks and prospects that were selected in the mid-first round.

The Atlanta Hawks are the only team that can offer a respectable package. Al Horford is a solid talent, but he still isn’t on Bynum’s level. Los Angeles’ center is two inches taller, 35 pounds heavier and Horford’s best numbers pale in comparison to Bynum’s 2012 statistics.

Bynum is just 24 years old. He’s the second-best center in the league. In some ways, he’s better than Howard.

Sure, there’s risk involved in trading for Bynum. He’s scheduled to become a free agent next summer. But the seven-footer is so much more talented than any of the Magic’s other options that it’s worth risking starting from scratch again for a chance to keep him long-term.

 

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