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Pros and Cons of L.A. Lakers Trading Dwight Howard

James PearsonCorrespondent IFebruary 2, 2013

Pros and Cons of L.A. Lakers Trading Dwight Howard

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    The Los Angeles Lakers have so many problems right now, there are almost too many to count.

    With the NBA trade deadline a few weeks away (Feb. 21) and Dwight Howard an impending free agent, another potential problem exists.

    We may be approaching Dwightmare Part II.

    Yes, the Lakers can pay him the most money to stay in their uniform, but with the way things are going is that something to brag about? Would Howard turn down more money to get out from the spotlight and away from Kobe Bryant?

    If the Lakers have the chance to jettison Dwight would they take advantage of it?

    Here are the pros and cons of trading Howard.

Pro: Get Draft Picks Back

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    Lost in the disaster that is the Lakers season is the fact that they are without the first-round of the 2013 draft as any kind of respite.  Even if they finish out of the playoffs, they won’t be drafting in the first round this year.

    L.A traded four draft picks to acquire Steve Nash and another protected first round pick for Howard.

    That’s potentially five young players gone over the next four years from a team that is the fourth oldest in the NBA and sits at sub-.500.

    Yikes.

    By dealing Howard, the Lakers could get an infusion of youth by getting back a 2013 first-round draft pick, while possibly recouping future first-round picks to help bring down the average age their roster (28.8).

    This year’s draft is supposed to be a weak one, but don’t be so quick to dismiss it.

    Wasn’t the same lack of confidence spread amongst the 2011 entries? The same class that produced Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Nikola Vucevic and Kenneth Faried.

    That draft found starters in second-round picks in Chandler Parsons and Isaiah Thomas.

    Getting back into the draft would be worth it with Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash in their twilight years. What better time than now to get young talent to learn from them for the future?

Con: The Lakers Defense May Get Even Worse

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    If the Lakers do trade Howard, we can assume that their already atrocious defense just might get even worse.

    With Howard, the Lakers are 26th in points allowed at 102.2 per game. When he re-injured his shoulder on Jan. 30 in a loss to the Phoenix Suns, they were outscored 19-8 in the final minutes. 

    It’s hard to imagine the Lakers getting a better defender in return for Howard, and losing him might be more than the defense could handle.

Pro: The Lakers Won’t Have to Mortgage Their Future on Howard

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    If this season was the first time you ever saw Dwight Howard play, and then you saw Erick Dampier highlights, you probably wouldn’t see much of a difference between the two.

    Sorry Erick, but even at your best that's not what the Lakers were hoping to acquire. Dwight just doesn’t look right this season. But what 6’11”, 265-pound center coming off back surgery would?

    It may take time to get him back to his old ways, but what if he never gets his elite athleticism back? What kind of center is he without it?

    Now it is being speculated (h/t Will Carroll of Bleacher Report) that he may require shoulder surgery in the offseason. How many centers do you know that became injury prone this late in their career overcame it?

    What if the Lakers sign him to a max deal and he does becomes nothing more than Dampier?

    If Los Angeles thinks that this season is bad, imagine what the next decade will be like if they are locked in with an average center that makes the maximum salary.

Con: The Value Might Not Be There

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    Remember how everyone thought the Orlando Magic lost in the Howard trade?

    If they are really looking to ship him, what kind of deal are they going to get now? And who is going to want to take on Howard?

    Would any team be willing to give up enough assets just for the right to offer a banged-up center more money this summer? 

Pro: Pau Gasol’s Value Would Rise

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    Facebook and the New York Stock Exchange, Chris Culliver and pubic speaking, Manti Te’o and online dating, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard.

    Some pairings just don’t work together.

    Maybe over time the two could find a better working relationship than the others, but Gasol had been relegated to the bench as a sixth man before his start against Minnesota Friday night.

    Gasol is the same guy who was ripping through the Olympic games this past summer and whose role has become so diminished that he received “big news” that when Howard remained out due to injury, he would rejoin the starting lineup. He responded to the promotion as “exciting.”

    It’s 2013 and we still can’t quite figure out a universal way to type sarcasm.

    He is a much better player than what has become of him this season.

    By trading Howard the Lakers might get the Gasol that we saw in the Olympics back. Gasol is lot better than the $19 million bench player.

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