Lakers Trade Rumors: Bynum for Howard Is Good, but Keeping Gasol Is Better

Hadarii JonesSenior Writer IAugust 10, 2012

LOS ANGELES - JUNE 7:  Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers surveys the court against Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic in Game Two of the 2009 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 7, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers won 101-96 in overtime.  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 Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

ESPN's Chris Broussard is reporting that all the speculation concerning Orlando center Dwight Howard and the Los Angeles Lakers has finally come to an end, and Howard will soon be announced as the next great center in a long list of dominant post players who have manned the position for the West Coast team.

And since the proposed deal didn't include forward Pau Gasol, it may be fair to say Los Angeles is also the odds-on favorite to win the 2013 NBA championship, with all apologies to LeBron James.

Just recently I penned an article questioning the merits of the suggested deal between the Lakers, Nuggets and 76ers, because I believed the Lakers would be committing basketball suicide by getting rid of Gasol and Bynum for Howard.

Apparently I was right, because the Lakers refused to walk off the cliff, and their reward is a front line that has the potential to be legendary—if Howard's back is fine.

Howard's back injury instantly becomes the biggest question mark surrounding the Lakers franchise, but if he can overcome his first major career set-back, then it's hard to imagine anyone beating the Lakers in a seven-game series.

Especially with Gasol in the fold.

The previously announced deal from Yahoo! that would have jettisoned both Gasol and Bynum away for Howard would have ultimately made the Lakers a worse team because Howard couldn't possibly duplicate their production.

However, by keeping Gasol and managing to acquire Howard, the numbers suggest the Lakers interior just got better, and I haven't even mentioned Steve Nash's potential impact on the Lakers' new post duo.

Howard gives the Lakers an athletic dimension that Bynum could never match, and Gasol's skill level should compensate for the loss of Bynum in the same category.

Nash has never played with a big man like Howard, or Gasol.

And he's never played with a backcourt mate like Kobe Bryant, either.

Yet Nash has still managed to make players like Joe Johnson and Marcin Gortat look like superstars, so imagine what he might do with three other starters who have already earned that title?

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