NBA Rumors: What Should Cleveland Do in the Dwight Howard Deal?

Ryan BothmannSenior Analyst IIJuly 18, 2012

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)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The biggest offseason topic in the NBA this year by far has been Dwight Howard. Howard's constant complaints about Orlando and how he wants to play somewhere else have put the Magic in a difficult position to move the All-Star center before he hits the free-agent market.

There have been many rumors over the past few months as to where Howard will go, but so far, a move has yet to be made.

The latest rumors suggest that Howard could be sent to the Lakers. In the deal, the Lakers would send their current center, Andrew Bynum, to Cleveland, and Cleveland would send Anderson Varejao and draft picks to Orlando.

This deal appears to be great for all sides involved, but there appears to be a holdup in Cleveland.

Should the Cavaliers send away multiple draft picks over the next few years to land an All-Star center who has a history of being very injury prone? The move certainly is extremely risky, which is a major cause for the hold up. But with high risk, there is generally high reward.

Over the last two seasons, Cleveland has slowly recovered from the departure of LeBron James. LeBron's decision was a major blow to the Cavaliers' franchise and took them from the best team in the NBA to the worst in just one season.

Through the draft, though, Cleveland has brought in a superstar point guard in Kyrie Irving, a solid forward in Tristan Thompson and two new young stars in the forms of guard Dion Waiters and forward Tyler Zeller. With these four players, the Cavaliers have built a young nucleus of talent that they hope will lead them back to the postseason.

Getting Andrew Bynum from the Lakers would certainly speed this process up. Bynum would fit excellently into the young nucleus of players that Cleveland has. His size and strength inside would give Cleveland one of the best centers in the NBA to go along with one of the best point guards in the NBA in Kyrie Irving.

But is it worth the risk?

Cleveland's strategy in the draft seems to be working quite fine. They have brought in two first-round picks over each of the last two seasons, and all four of the players appear to have the potential to be really good NBA players. Maybe it would be better for them to just stick with the draft.

There are two major questions that the Cavaliers have to answer before pulling the trigger on this deal. Can you keep Andrew Bynum in Cleveland long-term? If so, can you win with Bynum, Zeller, Thompson, Waiters and Irving as your core?

If the Cavaliers do get Bynum, the price would be high, but it is definitely worth it.

Bynum is a freakish athlete who is over seven feet tall. Frankly, players who are as big as he do not come around every day. Bynum would give the Cavaliers a solid starting five that would make them a legitimate playoff contender, and maybe with a few more moves they could be back on the level that they were a few years ago with LeBron James.

Cleveland needs to take a shot at this deal right now, because this may be their chance to get into the playoffs and face off against LeBron and the Heat. And everyone in the world knows that is exactly what the Cavaliers want.