On June 14, Los Angeles Times writer Bill Plaschke wrote an article suggesting that the Los Angeles Lakers trade Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom to the Orlando Magic for Dwight Howard and J.J. Redick.
Over the weekend, a random Twitter user apparently ran with that information and started his own rumor. According to Inside Hoops, the latest Dwight Howard-to-the-Lakers rumor was not produced by a legitimate source.
Still, according to ESPN.com's NBA Trade Machine, the deal would work financially for both clubs, so it's fun to speculate nevertheless. Let's examine all four pieces involved in the trade along with a final analysis on the impact for both teams.
Howard averaged 23 points and 14 rebounds in over 37 minutes of play last season. He shot over 59 percent from field while adding 2.4 blocks and 1.4 steals per contest.
He turns 26 next season and is two years older than Andrew Bynum, who turns 24 in October.
Howard is without a doubt, the most elite center in the world and could be the cornerstone of the Lakers franchise for the next 10 years—following in the footsteps of Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Shaquille O' Neal.
J.J. Redick is coming off the best season of his three-year career and is the type of outside-shooting specialist the Lakers desperately need to add to their current roster.
Redick averaged 10.1 points in 25 minutes per game last season off the bench for Orlando. He shot 39.7 percent from three last season and 87.5 percent from the free-throw line.
Just how badly do the Lakers need a three point shooter like Redick to help spread the floor?
They went 15-76 (19.7 percent) from three in their second-round series against the Dallas Mavericks—the most obvious and glaring reason that led to their early playoff exit in 2011.
Lamar Odom averaged 14.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3.0 assists coming off the bench for the Lakers last season en route to winning the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award.
Odom was one of five players to achieve those all-around numbers, joining Al Horford, David Lee, Pau Gasol and Blake Griffin—all starters who played more minutes.
Possessing an all-around skill set unlike any other player in the NBA, a number of analysts considered Odom to be the Lakers most consistent player last season.
Being able to bring a player of Odom's caliber off the bench or to start in place of an injured Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol is a luxury the Lakers would dearly miss.
Andrew Bynum averaged 14.4 points and 9.6 rebounds in 32 minutes of play over the 10-game playoff stretch for the Lakers last season.
Bynum can look dominant at times, but has missed an average of 31 games per season over his last four years in the NBA. If there is a single stat that may ultimately doom this trade, that may be the one.
Bynum does have a couple things going for him currently, his age (turns 24 next season) and a new knee brace that has many people convinced (including Bynum) it holds the key to his long-term health.
I think if you asked Lakers fans if they would do this trade, a great majority of them would pull the trigger in a heartbeat.
I, on the other hand, am not so certain.
Bynum finally began to show flashes of dominance last season and finished the year healthy for the first time since 2007.
Meanwhile, Lamar Odom is coming off the best season of his career and his value as a sixth man really can't be measured.
Are Dwight Howard and J.J. Redick really worth two key components to the Lakers most recent success? In the end, if you could guarantee me that Andrew Bynum would play 77 games next season (after missing the first five due to suspension), I would NOT do this trade.
However, since you can't guarantee me 77 Bynum games next year, I think the Lakers need to take the risk and pull the trigger on this blockbuster trade that could change the landscape of the NBA for years to come.