The old-school logic used to be “A Team Never Trades Away A Franchise Player.”
When Kobe was complaining about a trade, the Lakers never took it seriously. Kobe also was armed with a no-trade clause in his contract, which allowed him to veto any trades he didn’t agree with, so it’s possible he was just using the trade demands as leverage to bring in more help.
The Cavaliers and Raptors got scorned by LeBron and Bosh respectively, as did Phoenix and Amar'e Stoudemire.
Ironically, Carmelo—who has taken the most flak out of all of them not named LeBron—was the only one who brought his team true assets in return by admitting he was leaving, rather than lead his team on.
If Dwight Howard is unconvinced that this core group of players can win a title, then it makes sense that he would do Orlando a favor, even if they don’t recognize it as that and ask that they trade him or risk losing him for nothing, with nothing but a roster of overpaid and overage players left behind.
It was made apparent in January that Howard intends to follow an extended lineage of great centers before him and take his talents to Hollywood.
Scarily enough, a deal of Bynum for Howard straight-up works, but it’s likely that the Magic will wish to unload an unsavory contract or two in such a deal.
Rumors of the Lakers' demise have been greatly exaggerated.