Buying or Selling LA Lakers Rumors Ahead of the NBA Draft

Richard Le@rle1993Contributor IIIJune 20, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 26:  Dwight Howard (L) #12 and Devin Ebanks #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers look on from the bench in the second half against the San Antonio Spurs during Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on April 26, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The Spurs defeated the Lakers 120-89.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

As the NBA draft nears, it is clear that the Los Angeles Lakers don't have a lot of options.

With their contracts for next season eclipsing the salary cap even without re-signing Dwight Howard, they can't make any significant pickups in order to restructure their team. 

Despite their salary cap issues and the looming decision Howard has to make in regards to the team he wishes to sign with, there are a myriad of rumors involving the Lakers and their next moves. 

Mark Stein from ESPN Los Angeles does a good job of recapping the rumors involving Howard and a possible sign-and-trade to the Los Angeles Clippers for a package of Blake Griffin and Eric Bledsoe. 

While Stein makes it apparent that the Lakers won't dismiss this option, they are more inclined to take on a reprieve from their salary cap woes if they lose Howard rather than making a hasty deal for other players via a sign-and-trade.

Further debunking this rumor is the fact that the Clippers are deep in talks with the Celtics in terms of trying to acquire Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett in order to convince Chris Paul to re-sign, according to ESPN's Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne.

If the Clippers were to make this deal with the Celtics, that could possibly include Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan, they won't be in a position to offer the Lakers enough to convince them to do a sign-and-trade involving Howard.

While there are a myriad of rumors involving the Clippers, there have also been rumblings that Howard and Paul are in constant communication in terms of trying to end up on the same team.

ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard reports that Howard and Paul are trying to determine possible destinations that could potentially house both superstars.

While the Atlanta Hawks are a viable team that could make that move, the original rumor regarding the Clippers has merit because they would have the cap space to fit both superstars if the Lakers would agree to a sign-and-trade.

Again, this rumor, though probably valid, could lead to nothing, given the Clippers' current attempt to trade for Rivers and Garnett. 

There have also been rumors, according to Marc Stein of, that Howard is leaning toward the Houston Rockets as a possible destination as well. 

This would be a great destination for Howard, who has shown himself to be unaccustomed to the media spotlight and scrutiny that the Los Angeles spotlight garners. 

There would be less pressure to succeed in Houston. However, the Rockets are also a proven playoff team with a young nucleus and a co-star for Howard in James Harden. 

Their uptempo style and three-point shooting barrage was only missing a true interior presence. Howard can give them that interior force while also running alongside their fast-paced shooters.