Dwight Howard Rumors: Lakers Have Contingency Plan If They Cannot Land DH12

Alex Kay@AlexPKayCorrespondent IJuly 13, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 14:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic smiles in the first half against the Los Angeles Lakers in 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 Elsa/Getty Images)
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The Los Angeles Lakers would love to nab Dwight Howard this offseason, but they aren’t going to let it destroy their title dreams in 2013 if they cannot accomplish that goal.

According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles, the Lakers have a “short list” of backup big men they would like to acquire to put behind incumbent center Andrew Bynum and PF Pau Gasol. Some of the players on that list have been household names and still could potentially contribute a significant amount to a championship contender.

McMenamin’s sources found that L.A. is targeting Antawn Jamison, Elton Brand and Jermaine O’Neal to go along with their attempt to re-sign Jordan Hill.

Hill, Jamison and O’Neal are free agents, while Brand has been amnestied by Philadelphia. The former 76er will have to clear waivers before he can join the Lakers.

All should have plenty of interested suitors as the talent pool—especially for big men—continues to dry up in the coming weeks. But not many will be able to offer playing time on a team that has a chance to win a ring.

Besides Gasol and Bynum (or possibly Howard), the Lakers have a dearth of big men, which means that whichever bigs they sign this summer will definitely see a lot of floor time.

They’d also be getting a chance to play with future a Hall of Fame PG Steve Nash, who has been credited with revitalizing plenty of careers and being one of the most fun teammates in the league.

While DH12 would be a solid addition to the Lakers, adding some of the aging but still productive veteran bigs via free agency to fortify the bench might turn out to be an even better call for L.A.