Lakers Rumors: LA Must Avoid Dwight Howard If They Are to Restore Dynasty
According to FOX Sports NBA writer Sam Amico via Twitter, a potential trade sending Howard to LA is still alive:
Source familiar with Lakers-Cavs-Magic talks says potential trade not dead, but in holding pattern. Teams seem to ... sulia.com/c/basketball/f…— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) July 23, 2012
Don't remind me that Howard averaged 20.6 points and 14.5 rebounds per game last season on a Magic team that lacked an assisting superstar. Sure, the numbers are great and at age 26 the future and possibilities for the one they call Superman seem endless. But in reality, Howard is coming off back surgery and a drama-filled year that has turned him from lovable star to just another spoiled athlete.
The fact of the matter is that L.A. can win now, with what they have. The acquisition of two-time MVP Steve Nash during free agency instantly boosted the Lakers' hopes of winning the Western Conference and challenging for the Larry O'Brien Trophy in 2012-13. Nash will milk even more production out of Andrew Bynum and do wonders for Pau Gasol's game.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Bynum averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game last season and earned his first All-Star appearance. At age 24, the Lakers would be fools to trade away Bynum for a more marketable star in Howard. After all, Bynum blocked just as many shots as Howard did a year ago, and played significant minutes (21 minutes on average) during both of L.A.'s most recent championship runs in 2009 and 2010.
Meanwhile Gasol averaged 17.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game last regular season, giving them a second interior option to pair with the younger Bynum. Now that Nash has arrived, expect Gasol to get more involved offensively and become a major scoring threat in the Lakers' rotation.
Are the Lakers better off with or without Dwight Howard?
That being said, Howard's potential presence in the frontcourt is being ridiculously over-hyped. Howard is a great defensive player, but he is a liability at the free-throw line and a far less polished player offensively, compared to a center like Bynum, who is growing as a pro and understands how to take advantage of his size in the paint.
Now, with the addition of veteran Antawn Jamison at power forward, the Lakers have more than enough firepower and star power to contend with the likes of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Jamison averaged 17.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last season with the Cleveland Cavaliers and is still capable of providing a dependable third option for an NBA franchise.
Quite frankly, the Lakers have made enough moves to get back to the NBA Finals next season. They have their answer at point guard in Nash, and they have an additional scorer to boost their bench unit or to keep them afloat when the stars are resting.
L.A. must avoid reshaping their squad in order to make room for Howard. They have already addressed their needs this offseason and have a championship-caliber team to put on the floor this coming season.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?