Lakers Trade Rumors: Dwight Howard Still Fits Win Now Mentality in L.A.
The Los Angeles Lakers need to trade for Dwight Howard despite ESPN reports that he will test free agency after the 2012-13 NBA season.
On Wednesday, ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported sources acknowledged that Dwight Howard was ready to commit to the Los Angeles Lakers for the long term if the team could find a way to trade for the Orlando Magic superstar.
The press for another championship in Los Angeles has been made increasingly apparent since the end of the regular season. Los Angeles is in a total “win now” mentality heading into next season.
After all, how many seasons does Kobe Bryant have left in the tank? He’s already surpassed the 15 seasons Michael Jordan played and may begin to show signs of slowing down soon. Coming out of high school and directly into the NBA has definitely benefited Bryant in terms of career longevity and it will help him to continue to be competitive while playing.
Then there are the Lakers’ additions of veterans Antawn Jamison and Steve Nash. Both players have had successful careers and are clearly jumping aboard the Lakers’ bid for a championship in hopes of adding one to their trophy case before retirement.
The Lakers have tried this before with offseason veteran acquisitions such as Karl Malone and Gary Payton. Playing alongside Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neil, the team made it to the NBA Finals but failed to attain the championship Payton and Malone were searching for.
That doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t work this time around. The Lakers have the pieces in place to put one of the strongest starting five on the court in the NBA next season. A lineup consisting of Nash, Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol and Howard with Jamison coming off the bench could easily contend for those honors.
Additionally, Howard presents a bigger challenge to opposing teams than Andrew Bynum. Sure, Bynum is no slouch down-low, but he just doesn’t present the utter domination Howard imposes in the paint. Teams like the New York Knights, Miami Heat and (most importantly) the Oklahoma City Thunder will not have an answer to that presence down low.
With Nash creating for Kobe and Howard cleaning up off the glass, is there a team with enough firepower to counteract THAT?
Speaking of Bynum, with all of the uncertainty he is facing about his place of employment this upcoming season, would he even be interested in re-signing with the Lakers after they tried to move him? If this deal falls through, a similar situation to last year’s failed Lamar Odom trade could prompt a trade to dump a disgruntled Bynum for much less than the desired prize of a player of Dwight Howard’s stature.
The answer is no. If the Lakers want to win, and it looks like they do, they will do whatever it takes to land Howard. They’ll do whatever it takes whether they have any guarantees or not.
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