The Los Angeles Lakers have been mentioned the most out of any team in the NBA when it comes to a trade with Dwight Howard.
Recently talks have faded between Howard and the Lakers, especially in recent weeks when Howard was rumored to be heading to the Brooklyn Nets. However, the three-team deal, that also involved the Cleveland Cavaliers, has dissolved after what was supposed to be an almost sure deal.
Now the Lakers are back in the mix with an interesting new twist. The Houston Rockets have now entered the discussion with a three-way trade with the Magic and the Lakers. The Rockets would get Andrew Bynum and Howard would head to Los Angeles. It is still unclear what the Magic would receive besides for cap space, but the deal is supposed to be in serious discussions.
What makes this discussion different this time, is the fact that the Lakers are willing to take on the contract of Magic small forward Jason Richardson. The Lakers are already in deep luxury tax issues which made them hesitant to take on Richardson’s contract, but the Lakers now seemed to have decided to take it on anyway.
Astonishingly enough, this deal seems to be one of the worst possible offers for the Magic yet is one of the most likely trades to happen according to reports. The Rockets would be the big winner here as they would easily get the best offensive center in the league. Also, Bynum has said that one of the three teams he wants to sign with next offseason when he becomes a free agent is the Rockets, according to Yahoo Sports.
If this move is completed, the Lakers chances at an NBA Championship will be upgraded slightly. Getting Howard instead of Bynum won’t make that big of difference. Bynum can easily outplay Howard on the offensive side of the ball and his defense is not the same has Howard’s but it’s close. Oddly enough, the piece that might make the Lakers a better team is Richardson. He would provide another much needed shooter on the wing and he should be able to see plenty of open looks. Obviously he is not better than Howard, but he would create a bigger impact. Howard and Bynum are too close to each other talent-wise to notice much of a difference.
The Lakers though do need to think about this trade though before they decide to do it. As I once stated in another article, Howard has expressed interest in signing an extension with one team and one team only, the Brooklyn Nets. The Lakers should only take this deal if they can convince Howard to sign a long-term deal along with it. Taking a gamble on Howard staying is not a smart move considering he changes his mind on a daily basis on what he wants to do. There has been only one constant and that has been the Nets.
This Howard deal seems close to being done, but that has been said before with other trades. This trade would be risky for the Lakers but it could help them win a championship next year.
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