Dwight Howard Could Join Los Angeles Lakers Without Pinching L.A.

Tom FirmeAnalyst IIAugust 24, 2011

Dwight Howard flies a plane west to join the Los Angeles Lakers.  This is a dream scenario for Lakers fans, having a trio superior to the Big Three that already exists for the Miami Heat

Indeed, Lakers fans can dream of Howard suiting up in Lakers purple and gold along with current stars Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.  Dreaming big is not unreasonable in any NBA city.

Besides, the Heat have proven that the rich can get richer in the NBA.

Teams like the Lakers can go from having two superstars to three without breaking the bank, splintering the rest of their roster and chasing cheap free agents.

In a league where the salary cap is a factor but won't ruin a deal for Howard, the Lakers have tremendous possibilities.

First, the popular trade rumor involving the Lakers acquiring Howard from the Orlando Magic for Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum is perfect for both teams—that is, if both teams can follow through with the deal. 

The Lakers would attain Howard.  In exchange, the Magic receive a serviceable replacement in Bynum, along with Odom, one of the most effective sixth men in the NBA. 

The Magic can believe that Bynum could blossom into a solid center, especially in the East, where the talent curve isn't as steep as in the West.  Also, the Magic would be able to boast that they received one of the most treasured tools for their bench in a trade involving their star center.

Concerning salaries, the Lakers pay Bynum and Odom a combined $22 million, whereas the Magic pay Howard $16 million.  This works well for the the Lakers.

Is it a done deal?

One would hope it would be.  However, nothing is sure when general managers like to hide their hands from any cretins that might pounce on them in the blogosphere or on talk radio or television.

Another possibility for the Lakers is dangling Bynum, Shannon Brown and Ron Artest to grab Howard.  The Magic can still sack the center they need. 

Meanwhile, the Lakers can make the most of what trade vale Brown and Artest have. 

Artest is in the waning part of his career, but he can still play defense.  Brown may produce offense for the Magic.  The Lakers can make their salary match in this deal since the combined salaries of Brown and Artest match that of Odom.

Would Magic GM Otis Smith accept Artest and Brown in giving up Howard?

One can't say. 

Anyway, any trade that puts Dwight Howard in a Lakers uniform would create an fascinating situation.  The details would help determine whether the Lakers, who are already above the luxury-tax limit, can complete a roster likely to step to the court in the NBA Finals.