Lakers Trade Rumors: LA Foolish to Not Listen to Offers for Dwight Howard

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IFebruary 12, 2013

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 7: Kobe Bryant #24 and Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers look on following a foul against the Boston Celtics during the game on February 7, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. 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 Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

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.

Now, unless my experienced basketball eyes have deceived me, Dwight Howard has not been an ideal fit for the Los Angeles Lakers. So I really don't understand their stance on trading him. 

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. 

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.