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.
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.
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.