Howard flopped with the Lakers, went through Dwightmare Part 2 and ended up on the Houston Rockets. Meanwhile, Bynum never played a game in Philly, couldn't stick on the Cleveland Cavaliers, was traded to and subsequently waived by the Chicago Bulls and then signed on with the Indiana Pacers.
According to the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen, that last step was almost different:
They (the Rockets) had talks last month with then-free-agent center Andrew Bynum before opting against making an offer, according to a person familiar with the talks. It was unclear if the Rockets backed away because of questions about Bynum's contributing this season or signing after this season or because they decided to keep center Omer Asik.
The irony would've been fantastic.
But now, instead of watching Bynum attempt to revitalize his nearly dead career in the Association while backing up Howard, the Rockets are left looking for a trade prior to the Feb. 20 deadline.
The Rockets may well be the hottest team in basketball, going into the All-Star break with a seven-game winning streak that has moved them into the No. 3 spot in the brutally difficult Western Conference. But that's not making them content to sit and wait for the second half to unfold.
"I'm trying to make the sum of our probability over the next three years to be higher than it was before, with just a little more weighting on now," general manager Daryl Morey told Feigen, who revealed that inside sources claim the Rockets are looking for either a two-way wing player or a shot-creating backcourt member.
Should the Rockets make a trade before the deadline?
It's a change of course from the rumors earlier in the season, ones that had Houston in dire need of a trade that would either move Omer Asik to another roster or shore up the weakness at power forward. Ideally both.
However, with Asik not drawing enough interest, Houston unwilling to trade him for pennies on the dollar and Terrence Jones looking like a legitimate starter, the priorities have changed.
Fortunately for the Rockets, those priorities can no longer include signing a distraction Bynum.