Dwight Howard to Lakers: L.A. Crazy to Gamble on Dwight Howard over Andrew Bynum
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Well the Lakers are making another move, and this one will shake up the whole league.
Not just because of how it impacts the Lakers. No, this deal has four teams, and it will literally impact the whole NBA.
If Lakers G.M., Mitch Kupchak's mission was to improve the Philadelphia 76ers, well he's probably in line for G.M. of the Year.
Kupchak's title is "General Manager of the Los Angeles Lakers," and unfortunately this deal really doesn't help them that much.
The trade is massive, but for the purposes of the Lakers it is pretty simple.
The Lakers give up Andrew Bynum and a first-round draft pick, and get Dwight Howard.
Seems like a no-brainer, right? Dwight Howard, "Superman" is on the Lakers, and all they gave up was Andrew Bynum, a player who was injury-prone and headed to free agency, and a first-round draft pick, which Lakers management probably believes is destined to be a late first-round pick.
The real question is: What on earth makes the Lakers believe that Howard will be a better fit in L.A. than Bynum?
Dwight Howard has spent his whole career not just playing center, but as the centerpiece of the Orlando Magic. The entire offense revolved around him, the entire defense was designed to showcase his defensive talents.
That didn't stop Howard from feuding with his former head coach, and his former G.M.
As a member of the Lakers, Howard can look forward to NOT having the offense revolve around him.
Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest scorers in NBA history. Steve Nash is one of the greatest point guards in NBA history. Pau Gasol is one of the best passing big men in NBA history.
Howard is really good at dunking.
He's going to have to get used to less shots, as well as having other players tell him where to be, or where he should be.
That might work out fine, but it might not. Remember, this is a very mature Lakers team. Bryant is 33, Nash is 38, Gasol is 32, recently acquired Antawn Jamison is 36.
Bynum is younger than Howard, but he has been learning how to play alongside guys like Gasol and Bryant for five seasons. He's been improving as well.
Last season, at the age of 24, Bynum posted numbers nearly as good as Howard.
Howard has a more polished all-around game, and he's a better defender, but games are won on the court, not on stat sheets. Howard has zero experience playing alongside other stars. Bynum might be younger, but he's not less experienced.
Let's face it, Howard is a marquee name, he's a massive presence. Is he better than Bynum, not a better talent, not a better one-on-one basketball player, is he a better player for the Lakers next season?
The Lakers have acquired Dwight Howard, and if they were playing fantasy basketball then they could start sizing players up for their rings right now.
They're not, the games are won on the court, and Howard is about to step into a totally new situation, one he's completely unfamiliar with. It took Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal four seasons before they won their first NBA Title. Kobe Bryant has hinted at retirement in two seasons.
Steve Nash has also never played alongside a scorer such as Kobe, and Kobe has yet to play with a top point guard. It's a dizzying array of talent, but that doesn't always equate to championships.
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