Unless a player is the absolute best and a perfect fit for a team, that team should be open to the possibility of trading the player.
The possibility of improvement inherently lies in the conditions of the situation.
ESPN's Chris Broussard reported on information from league sources that Los Angeles general manager Mitch Kupchak has told Howard that he will not be involved in a trade.
This is not all that surprising, given that days earlier, Kupchak told Steven Marcus of Newsday that Howard was not going to be traded.
Now, to be fair to the Lakers, there is a chance all of this is a smokescreen. They could just be participating in an old poker bluff as they try to raise the price on Howard—who is a free agent at season's end.
However, if this is indeed the case, it most definitely is foolish.
There has been drama between Dwight and Kobe Bryant; there is even a good reason to believe that the amicable Steve Nash is frustrated with Howard, and all of this while the Lakers wildly fall well below expectations.
This team is just 24-28. They were supposed to be battling for a championship this season, and instead, they are just trying to make the playoffs.
Should the Lakers listen to trade offers for Howard?
Meanwhile, Howard's numbers in the points and rebounds department are well below the standards he has established for himself.
There is no doubt that injuries play a big part of this. Howard has struggled to regain his elite athleticism following his offseason back surgery, and he has struggled to recover from a torn labrum in his shoulder.
While the injuries are clearly a valid reason for the dip in numbers, they are also another factor that should lead the Lakers to being open about trading him. There is no guarantee that Howard will ever regain the form that made him the game's dominant center.
I'm not saying the Lakers have to trade Dwight. I don't think the situation in Los Angeles has taken him and the team past a point of no return.
However, if they do find a nice offer with valuable pieces that would fit better with this roster, they'd be making a mistake by not taking it, and it is downright foolish to not even listen to the offers.