Examining A Potential Dwight Howard Trade

Darius Soriano —  December 7, 2011

In a vacuum, trading for Dwight Howard is a no brainer. He is, by any measurement, the premier big man in the league. He’s been the defensive player of the year 3 years in a row, has been the 1st team all-NBA Center four years in a row, was 2nd in last year’s MVP vote, and is a fixture at the all-star game. In a league where being an elite two way player boosts your value exponentially, Howard is the best of the best. And while every player has his detractors and no player is perfect, these are the facts.

But trades don’t happen in a vacuum. The other team must agree to take on players and there are ramifications – both on and off the court – that play into any decision. Trades of this magnitude are never as easy as fans would like them to be and the issues at play can submarine a deal as quickly as the original rumor pops up.

So, exploring this potential trade from a variety of angles is necessary:

What would a potential deal look like?
Despite the desire of Laker fans for Orlando to act quickly and go all in with the cards they’re dealt by dealing Howard soon, the Magic are choosing to slow play their hand. From Orlando’s perspective, this is natural. No one likes to give up their superstar player and, furthermore, acting quickly doesn’t necessarily net them the best deal. They’ll surely try to keep Howard at all costs but claiming they plan to keep him is their best attempt to gain short term leverage in talks in order to sweeten any offer that comes their way.

From the Laker perspective this means they must be prepared (and surely understand) that there is not a deal to be made that doesn’t center around Andrew Bynum and at least one other big man – likely Lamar Odom. Offering Bynum and LO means the Lakers surrender two thirds of their versatile big man group and leaves them wanting for depth in the front court. Fans only need to look at last year to see how not having capable bodies as back up bigs can hurt a team’s chances. As the season progressed, Gasol withered on the vine as extended minutes took their toll on his lanky frame. He played valiantly, but the body only has so many 40+ minute nights in it. With a condensed season coming up, capable depth will be needed, even with Howard’s tremendous durability soaking up minutes and games.

Beyond the depth issues of such a deal, we must also identify who the Lakers get from Orlando besides Howard. One of the reasons the Magic are even exploring a Howard trade is because their roster has two of the worst contracts in the league clogging their salary cap in Gilbert Arenas’ and Hedo Turkoglu’s deals. Surely Orlando wants to dump one of those contracts on whoever trades for Howard – and likely Arenas’. Taking on that contract may be a non-starter for any trade to happen, so swapping in Hedo instead is much more likely. Hedo offers a varied skill set with strong ball handling and good outside shooting. He’s got good size for a SF and can play good positional defense, though his commitment to doing so can be lacking.

Are the Lakers willing to take on one of these players? If they want Howard, they’ll likely have to. Which brings us to…

The cost of doing business.
Starting in the 2012 season, the Lakers new TV contract will kick in. According to a report from Sam Amick (and later confirmed by Kevin Ding), the Lakers new deal with Time Warner is valued at 5 Billion (capital B) dollars over 25 years. This could mean the Lakers have $200 million of revenue before selling a single ticket, parking pass, or beer on game night. That number is incredible.

What’s also incredible is how much a Laker roster will cost if a simple Bynum/Odom for Howard/Turkoglu trade were to happen. According to the salary database at Sham Sports, the Lakers have a shade over $61 million committed to their 2013-14 payroll. And all that money is going to 4 players: Kobe, Pau, MWP, and Steve Blake. That same season, Turkoglu has a player option for $12.1 million. A max contract for Dwight Howard (which is what it would take to keep him after he opts out of his contract) will hover around the same $22 million that Pau is owed that same year (it’s not yet clear what a max deal for Howard would look like as the final terms to the CBA have not yet been released). When you add all that together, you have a payroll of about $95 million for 6 players and a need to fill out the rest of the roster.

But wait, there’s more.

I’m using the 2013-14 season as reference point because the new CBA will have stiffer penalties for luxury tax paying teams starting that season.  Instead of the dollar for dollar penalty that’s currently in place, tax paying teams will pay an additional 50 cents for the first $5 million they spend over the tax line ($1.50 total) with an additional 50 cents added on for every additional $5 million of payroll spent ($2.00 for 5-10 mil, $2.50 for 10-15 mil, etc). 

But wait, there’s even more.

The new CBA will reportedly have a “repeat offender” provision related to teams habitually going above the luxury tax line. If a team is above the tax line 4 times in a 5 year stretch, an additional dollar will be added “at each increment” of tax spending. This means, if the Lakers are a tax paying team 4 straight years (or, as no one seems to be mentioning, even if they’re a tax team in year 5 after getting below the tax in year 4 – effectively meaning they need to be under the tax two straight years in any 5 year stretch) their tax commitment balloons. In a post at Land O’ Lakers, Larry Coon explained it thusly:

The Lakers’ tax bill in 2011 (when the tax was dollar-for-dollar) was about $19.9 million. Under the new system, being that far over the tax line would cost them $44.68 million. If they were a repeat offender (paying tax at least four of the previous five years) they would owe $64.58 million!

Are the Lakers willing to shell out this money? Even with their new TV contract, the question needs to be asked and answered in the affirmative should they make this type of trade. In the past, it was rumored that Jerry Buss’ drop-dead payroll line was $100 million, including the luxury tax. In the last couple of seasons, the Lakers zoomed past that in pursuit of a championship, but not by too much (about 10 million this past season). What will that new drop dead number be? And if the Lakers go over it, how far are they willing to go. The new CBA will test the Buss’ pocketbook like never before.

The on-court merits.
On the court, having Howard in the fold would be a boon, though. Mike Brown, for all his talk of a twin tower approach for this season, has consistently been a “4 out, 1 in” offensive coach that’s relied on the P&R with shooters spacing the floor. It’s the type of offense he’s ran the majority of his career. Obviously some of this will change with LA’s personnel, but Howard is the prototype big man for these types of sets. Stan Van Gundy has run similar actions for Dwight during their entire time together. Howard has a developing mid-range game that can compliment weak-side post ups by Gasol and/or Kobe and his ability to go to the offensive glass means his man will have trouble helping or be exposed when Dwight crashes the glass.

Also, the P&R opens up with Howard doing the screening. Kobe may not be the best shooter coming out of P&R’s, but as a playmaker he can be sublime. No one (save for maybe Blake Griffin or Amare) rolls as hard to the hoop and demands the type of attention that Dwight does. And while Bynum and Gasol are no slouches in this area, Dwight’s power and decisiveness going to the front of the rim forces the defense to rotate to him or he will get a dunk on his dive to the cup. This threat means defenders not only must adjust on the backline of the D, but also how they play the ball handler. Kobe could benefit greatly by having more space to turn the corner should the hedge-man stay stuck to a rolling Howard or he could have passing angles open up all over the floor as defenses scramble on the back side.

Not to mention Gasol and Howard have the types of games that really do compliment each other. Pau has moved his game more to the short wing in recent seasons and has flashed a greatly improved jumper. Having Pau make strong side catches in the mid or high post with Howard occupying defenders at the rim means Pau can continue to shoot his short J or use the extra space that Howard creates to attack off the dribble. Plus, the combination of Pau’s passing and Howard’s brute strength means back side duck in’s will be more frequently rewarded with pin point passes from one big to another. Can you imagine Pau throwing Howard alley-oops and nifty bounce passes as he cuts to the rim? I can.

I also exchanged emails with long time FB&G contributor Reed and he had the following to say about Howard:

I watched Howard very closely last year — probably closer than any non-Laker player. Something about him grabbed my attention. I haven’t really dived into the numbers on this, but he seemed to clearly impact the game for good more than any other player in the league last year — when just thinking about points scored and points saved. He is such a force on offense that the entire defense has to be aware of him; he gets the other team into the penalty quickly (imagine what an early penalty would do for Kobe’s closing abilities); he forces double/triple teams; he runs the floor in transition; he creates spacing for easy three points shots; etc. His presence creates the easiest kinds of scoring opportunities — points in the paint, free throws, and clean three point looks. And he probably impacts the game on defense more than any single player impacts either end of the court. You simply don’t get good looks in the paint when he’s on the court, and he accomplishes that without fouling. Lebron is the more skilled, well rounded player, but I felt that Howard had a higher net impact on the game last year.

The Future.
At some point the Lakers must build a team that doesn’t account for Kobe Bryant. I hope we don’t have to deal with his retirement for a while, but Kobe won’t play forever. There’s something to be said about grabbing the next great player for a team with as much history as the Lakers. The presence of a player of his stature, style of play, and personality means that tickets will continue to be sold, people will continue to tune in, with the team continuing atop its perch as a marquee, relevant franchise. I’m not sure what that’s worth, but is worth something.

In the end, I don’t know if Dwight will be a Laker or not. The Magic will have a lot to say about where he goes – if anywhere – and when he goes there. There’s also a lot of gray area to navigate through and nothing is as straight forward as it might seem. For now all we can do is wait, but while we do, the big picture does need looking at.

Darius Soriano

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70 responses to Examining A Potential Dwight Howard Trade

  1. “greedy boys often miss desert”

    lets not forget that DH has a *lot* of say in all of this. if he insists on a trade to the lakers, then orlando will take what they are offered, which will be bynum alone (given the money issues highlighted above) — or risk getting LeBoned.

    so what are the cap-space realities of a howard for bynum swap?

    as for Pau, he is not a $17M player much less a $22M player. unless he takes a “haircut” in the pay department, he will be traded away before Khan retires or is fired :)

  2. Very nice look at all sides of the equation, including the $$$ side of it. I presume though if the Lakers did a Turk/Howard deal, they could keep the amnesty and waive Turk next season (so as to not run afoul of the new CBA re: trade and amnesty rules).

    The price is steep, even including the TWC deal. Which business, and remember, the Buss family is a business owner, is willing to fork over an extra $40mil (in the worst case scenario re: tax upon tax)? If the Buss family is ok with that, God bless them.

  3. i remember the celtics single-covering dwight and neutralizing the magic attack. same thing happened against the hawks–against zaza pachulia and one of the Stiff Twins. even when howard puts up gaudy numbers, his teammates can’t get into any kind of rhythm.

    if howard isn’t paired with an elite, natural playmaker his teams are doomed. kobe hasn’t made optimal use of guys like gasol and bynum; what do you guys expect will happen when he shares the floor with an unrefined pivot that bricks free throws?

    we don’t have the playmaker to maximize howard’s good hands and athleticism; we don’t have the 3pt shooting to minimize howard’s lack of skill. we’re going to wind up just like orlando, except we’re older and we can’t track down long rebounds and we’re going to be demolished in transition.

    we won’t ever get past okc with howard. perkins? off-the-charts athleticism? they’re going to cream us.

  4. 2) The amnesty provision will probably prevent using it on players you traded for. Otherwise, it would be in the interest of teams like Phoenix to trade for a bad contract worth dumping to clear cap space. Trading for Hedo and using amnesty clause on him won’t be an option, we’ll have to count on using it on MWP or Luke, so less bang for our buck in that regard.

    3) Dwight’s free throw shooting limits his playmaking ability, true. I remember a former Laker and dominant center with a similar problem. But we won 3 titles with him because we paired him with a guy we happen to have on our roster, who isn’t going anywhere.

    Kobe and Gasol have midrange games that allow us to do so much more than just space the floor and jack up 3′s like Orlando does. And I don’t see how swapping Dwight for Bynum makes us any less vulnerable against OKC’s athleticism. Howard is the freakiest athlete in the league besides maybe Blake Griffin.

  5. Darius, outstanding commentary and analysis.

  6. I think we will wait.

    1. Bynum will showcase his talent and off-season work.

    2. Howard will flex his muscles.

    3. Bynum’s value will go up while Orlando sees very little interest outside of LA as DH refuses to sign an extension unless dealt to LA.

    4. 1-1 swap may be possible even, if the timing is right.

    I seriously have reservations about losing Odom and/or taking back a bad contract… and not sure if the new CBA allows for the amnesty of a player after the new CBA (hence Hedo can’t be waived even the year after he was acquired).

  7. Is it really worth the upgrade from Bynum to Howard (some consider it slight, some consider it a lot) to lose Odom and take on Hedo? Keep In mind we have a logjam at the SF position with Luke, Metta, Matt Barnes, and even Ebanks.

  8. Darius,
    I disagree. I think there is a great shot at getting Dwight for just Bynum alone. I think we will be sitting here at midseason with the starting Center of the west all star team and Orlando will realize like all other clubs before them that they can’t keep there superstar. The reality will hit and hit them hard. They will have a couple weeks to trade Dwight or lose him for nothing. They will look around and see who is offering the most. Of course teams around the league Howard doesn’t want to resign with wont be offering very much for 2 month rental. Even if they did. Who can offer more than Andrew Bynum at 24 years old. As a matter of fact I can’t remember a superstar like Howard bringing anything back in return anything close to a young dominant big man like Andrew. Heck… The best player the Lakers got for Shaq was Lamar Odom.

  9. #8. Nice to see that of the 1,700 words in this post the part you disagree with is what the general manager of the other team is thinking.

  10. 4. howard != shaq. he is not the first option. he’s not even the second option.

    dwight does not allow us to do much more than run the offense through kobe and gasol. it would be folly to space the floor with him in tow, that is for sure.

    i think you can dictate tempo by running the offense through bynum, whose skill and size allows him to create high-percentage scoring opportunities for himself and for his teammates. that’s the key to defeating okc: forcing them to grind games out.

    howard is a freaky, high-flying athlete. the problem is our team isn’t an an exciting, fast-break team. dwight howard would not transform this team into an exciting, fast-break team.

    it just doesn’t make sense to add howard if there’s no elite, playmaker(cough chris paul) with which to pair him.

  11. Great analysis, Darius.

    I think the upgrade to Howard is worth almost any price. The difference between him and Bynum is significant by every measure.

    For example — PER differential: Howard (+16.3), Bynum (+10.7). Bynum’s number is elite, but Howard’s is the best in the NBA; the difference between them is comparable to the difference between an average starting center and Bynum (e.g. Gortat had a +4.4). And, Howard is able to stay on the court for more games and minutes per game, increasing the impact of his massive net production.

    The on/off numbers (which are skewed by replacement play, of course) are just as striking:

    *eFG% (on court differential): Howard (+3.9%), Bynum (-.5%)
    *eFG& allowed: Howard (-2.2%), Bynum (-.8%)
    *Assisted FGs: Howard (+4%), Bynum (0%)
    *FTA: Howard (+9 per 48 minutes), Bynum (-1)
    *Net points: Howard (+9.8), Bynum (+.8)

    Obviously, all of these numbers can be explained/manipulated by context, but they do paint a clear picture: Howard’s overall statistical impact on a game is unrivaled right now in the league. He creates easier scoring opportunities for his team (more points in the paint, more open 3s, more assisted FGs, more free throw attempts). On defense, he causes teams to score much less efficiently — they take a disproportionate number of long 2s (he controls the paint and eliminates the need to double team most low post players, making it harder to get open 3s).

    In terms of pure on court impact — he and Lebron are a few steps ahead the rest of league right now. Now, by that we mean season long impact, not last five minutes of a playoff game impact — where both Lebron and Howard have limitations — but we do have Kobe to carry us during that stretch.

    And, off the court, Howard would be a free agent magnet. Perhaps not on par with Shaq in his prime, but probably as influential right now as anyone. We would continue to draw the veterans, buy outs, amnesties, etc. looking to play for cheap and chase a title.

    I think we go all in for Howard — even if it costs Bynum, Odom, and Turk’s face/contract.

  12. Kobe hasn’t made optimal use of Gasol?

    Gasol went from borderline all star who was skunked in three straight playoff series, to a perennial all- star and 2 time champion, while his FG% jumped up 5%, after teaming up with Kobe. I don’t think it was a coincidence.

    I am salivating at the thought of what Kobe and Gasol can do for Dwight’s game, and vise versa.

  13. You can only amnesty players *you* signed under the previous CBA is what I’ve heard. That means whoever it is we are getting back from Orlando will be on our roster till his contract expires.

    If Dwight does declare LA as his preferred destination, do we have to satisfy *all* of Orlando’s demands:

    1. Get a young player (or more) in return
    2. Take on one of Orlando’s bad contracts
    3. Get draft picks

    Bynum is, in my biased opinion, the second best center (when healthy) – so that takes care of (1).

    What if we offer some of our own bad, though shorter, contracts in return?

    Bynum + Fisher + Walton + Brown (sign-and-trade) + draft picks = Howard + Arenas ?

    Yes, I know that Fisher and Walton is the equivalent of a ‘poo-poo platter’, but both their contracts expire a year earlier and are less than half of what Arenas makes. Brown would prolly give them what Arenas gave them last year.

    As for Arenas, his stock couldn’t be any lower, but if you think he’s just on his way back from surgery, the chances of him being more productive from hereon out aren’t that bad. Especially, when you consider that he’ll be playing with Pau and Gasol, in addition to Dwight. Don’t forget that he is a multiple All-Star/All-NBA player. I don’t think he will get back to averaging 20+ (career average) anytime soon, but he is a useful scorer, shooter who fills a need for us.

    At the very least, he should be an upgrade over Fisher, right? Yes, he will cost a ton more, but if that means we get to keep Odom, then I’d take that risk.

  14. 9)
    Ha. When discussing trades you have to speculate what the other team would want and what other teams are offering. You did the same thing in this post. It’s just simple deductive reasoning. The Magic will take the best deal they can get just like the NBAPA did a couple weeks ago. Did the players get screwed? You bet they did. So does every team that is forced to trade a superstar in their prime.

  15. 10) Dwight has made the finals with Raefer Alston and Turkoglu as his primary playmakers. I don’t know where you got the idea that he’s an awful player on the offensive side of the ball. He creates a vaccuum in the paint and frees up open looks for everybody on the floor. Sure, he might still end up being option 3 behind Kobe and Gasol, but what is Bynum?

    And I don’t see why you think a fast break type of team is what Dwight needs to be on to win. Who’s a better fit for a team that intends to grind down OKC than the 3 time Defensive POY?

  16. I’m with Aaron. The Lakers should stand pat and see how desperate the Magic get. If we are talking a Howard for Bynum + scrap, then I think the Lakers should move on this. Otherwise, I don’t see how the loss of Bynum and Lamar is adequately compensated.

    In the meantime, I think the more pressing issue for this team is a decent backup at Center and maybe a three point shooter.

  17. 12. kobe prefers jacking up shots to exploiting the mismatches pau and drew have every game.

    the reason pau has flourished has more to do with the triangle offense than kobe bryant.

  18. 11)
    Better to compare their most recent numbers. Maybe just the second half of last year. ESPN did a piece how numbers showed Bynum was better defensively the second half of the year over Howard.

    There is no comparison when you talk Bynum/Howard the last five years. But Bynum turned into a different player last year as he matured and got into shape. Now Bynum has his first healthy offseason to train. By all accounts he is a new man body wise.

    The trick is to discuss who will the better player be not the last five years but the next 5 years. Bynum has a higher ceiling as he is the taller Center ;) . Having said that… Because of injury history I would make the trade in a heartbeat.

  19. I don’t want people jumping on the don’t trade Bynum and Gasol/Odom for Howard bandwagon. I would even trade Bynum and Gasol for Howard. What I’m saying is we probably don’t have to.

  20. Kapono has agreed a one year deal http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/7328402/jason-kapono-ink-1-year-deal-los-angeles-lakers-source-says

    sure would be nice to have a shooter on the team. This surely mean Luke or Metta are getting amnesty’d pronto as we would have 4 small fowards

  21. if orlando isn’t careful (and i don’t rate their organization very highly) they will end up with Pau for DH, and we use DH at the #4 spot. how would that work as a lineup :)

    it’s valid to look at precedent in these cases, and history is on the Lakers’ side.

  22. 15, I explained the effect of single-coverage on Howard. I’m not going to repeat myself.

    Our wings don’t have the athleticism to beat their younger, faster counterparts to loose balls. This creates extra possessions and transition opportunities for our opponents, thus increasing the pace of the game and dictating tempo. Howard does not figure into any of that.

    Explain how Howard will allow the Lakers to grind games out.

  23. Why is it that we assume we need to take 1 of orlando’s bad contracts (arenas or hedo), but we won’t give any of our bad contracts in return?
    Give them Fish or Luke or Metta world Peace.

    Also, in 2 years, Pau and Kobe’s contract would be considered just as bad as Arenas’….especially given the Laker’s tax implications (repeated offenders, extra tax, and all that stuff)

  24. 22)
    Hahahaha. I’m sure Mitch has already threatened Otis with that.

  25. @11,

    I enjoyed your post. As impressive as Dwight’s numbers have been, I would imagine that his efficiency numbers would be even higher playing alongside Kobe and Pau.

  26. chibi makes some excellent points.

    And to suggest Howard’s numbers are apples to apples with Bynum’s is very, very misleading.

    Howard is clearly Orlando’s top option; Bynum is at best No. 2 in L.A., more often No. 3 or 4 in the pecking order, depending upon Lamar’s play on a given night.

    If Howard were in L.A., he wouldn’t supplant Kobe as top dog, nor would he necessarily get more touches than Pau. So now the team is paying huge money for a No. 2 or 3 option. Why cripple the finances like that (let alone the money they’d have to spend to put good shooters around Howard, which won’t happen this year and effectively would kill the team’s chances at a title in 2012)?

    Meanwhile, if dealt to Orlando Bynum would become the clear No. 1 and his PER would skyrocket accordingly.

    The disparity between the two isn’t as huge as numbers alone would have you believe, and personally I’d rather have the guy who has great touch and an array of post moves, and can shoot free throws, than a big athlete who needs others to create his shots for him, unless it’s a putback.

    Howard’s a great player, but he’s not worth Drew’s future, in my view, let alone losing Drew and Odom to get the guy.

  27. @21, I’ve always liked Kapono since his UCLA days, despite his limitations. He has a bonafide skill in his 3 point shot, the only problem is that he has for years insisted on shooting more 2′s than 3′s ala our starting pg, despite his averages being better from deep.

  28. 23)….. by protecting the rim and dominating the boards…. right? I won’t get into the X’s and O’s, but the basic idea is that the other team scores less points when you have the best defensive player in the league on your side. That allows the offense to be slow and methodical.

  29. This analysis would have been much easier to read with fewer errors of word usage/spelling and grammar. Couldn’t someone be found to proofread?

  30. DH would automatically get more touches than bynum, because DH rebounds better. while i can’t claim to be a kobe expert, i have to think that DH would get more from kobe in this regard, as well.

  31. 30: the monthly meeting of Pedant’s Anonymous is in the next blog over; don’t be late otherwise they won’t let you have coffee

  32. It honestly blows my mind that people don’t want to let go of Bynum for Howard. I mean seriously? The BEST big in the entire NBA, who puts everything on the line every time he plays, who is 25 with no injuries in his career, who will only get better offensively. Not to mention he erases any lack of athleticism on the perimeter by controlling every inch of the paint. Bynum has trouble running up and down the floor and he looks like it’s a struggle half the time to do so, not to mention his first priority is scoring when the team needs him to rebound and play defense. Howard is a guy that wants to win a title at any cost, Bynum is a guy that wants to be the number 1 option and score points (not to mention has questionable character). It is a no brainer, you think Bynum has a future with his knees? Good luck with that, you ask anyone outside of Lakers fandom and they will tell you that you are insane and should be institutionalized if you prefer Bynum over Howard (or think that he has a brighter future). Bynum may be larger but last time I checked Dwight can fly like Superman and Bynum needs a running start just to touch the rim because of how bad his knees are.

  33. Bynum + Odom for Howard & a bad contract is a still a great deal. To think otherwise is to totally ignore history and assume that Andrew’s injury-riddled past is behind him, and Odom’s career-best year is somehow his new norm.

    I would not bet this franchise’s future on either of those assumptions.

  34. 32 – Ha ha! Touche!

  35. Funky Chicken you make a great point about Lamar, personally I love his game but before this last year (his career best) he was one of the most frustrating and inconsistent players in the league based on his talent level. Some games he would show up and others he would disappear. I would hate to see him go but let’s be honest he has maybe 2 good years left in him because he isn’t getting any younger. It’s not like they are trading a young just drafted Lamar, this is a guy who had his best years behind him. And truthfully he is better off as a starter than a bench player with Gasol on the team.

  36. Lakers8884 – It’s not that people are against a Bynum for Howard straight up swap. The issue is that everyone seems to agree that getting Howard will require packaging Bynum with Odom or Gasol and getting back a horrible contract in return (Arenas or Hedo)- and that’s a hard pill to take because of the gaping holes it would create in the rotation with little to no likelihood of signing a vet replacement that comes even close to the production of Gasol or Odom.

  37. Manny P, reread Chris J’s post, he says Howard “isn’t worth Bynum’s future.” When I read that my head almost exploded

  38. I really don’t see us getting Howard until right before the trade deadline. That’s when Orlando will be desperate after Howard has given them no indications that he will resign with them.

    But I do think it’s going to take Bynum and Odom to get that deal done. Andrew Bynum alone isn’t going to sell any tickets over there.

  39. The Lakers should wait,and even risk another Bynum injury(greatly decreasing his value) rather than take on bad contracts that would hamper the team for years. IF (a big if) Bynum can show improved condition and production,and DH puts pressure on management, the Lakers will have the upper hand and may be able to do a straight up exchange with fillers.

  40. @27,

    Your argument goes both ways. If Bynum was the number one option in Orlando, he would see more double/triple teams, and defenses would game plan to slow Bynum down. His points and rebounds would likely go up, but his efficiency would suffer, along with his turnovers.

    Gasol’s efficiency, as well as his overall game, improved drastically when he teamed up with Kobe, and I would expect the same from Dwight when being teamed up with Kobe and Gasol.

    As far as the concerns about Dwight being a number two or three option, I say, who cares? A trio of Kobe, Dwight and Gasol would be an elite offensive unit, no matter who the number one option is. Dwight and his alleged limited offense would strike fear onto opposing defenses, with Kobe and Pau alongside him….and I haven’t even gotten to Dwight’s all world defensive dominance. Just his defense alone is worth the trade.

  41. Kopono`s stats have gone down the past few years, but the Lakers must think he still has something left. Hope they`re right.

  42. 27) Seriously? Don’t get me wrong, Bynum is a fantastic player with lots of upside. But come on, if Bynum was really *that* good, he would have at least made an All-Star team. We’re talking about the 3 time DPOY, last season’s runner up in MVP voting. It’s more than just numbers we’re talking here. Besides that, let’s not forget Dwight is 25!!! He has just as much upside as Bynum!

    If you want a player with an array of post moves and great touch who can shoot free throws…. we have 3!!! One who does it with greatness (Kobe), one who does it well (Pau), one who tries to do it well and can’t because he’s not as good, has balky knees and misses a bunch of time. Not only is Dwight a better bet for the future of the franchise because of his superior health, but he’s a better fit for right now.

  43. 29, diagram it for me.

  44. If the Lakers have a shot at Howard, they have to trigger on it–even if that means holding the amnesty option and using it on Kobe or Pau in 2013.

  45. Awesome analysis, backed with facts and laying it all out quite eloquently. Make the trade, keep the Lakers organization on the upswing, its a trade that not only would have an immediate impact, raise interest (if that’s even possible considering the fan base) and show that management is still keeping the future in mind. No one wants to really confront the reality of Kobe’s knees, I sure don’t. But, adding another franchise player would definitely make me feel better about it. Thanks for the break down

  46. chibi- diagram your theory on how adding Howard somehow makes us roadkill for OKC.

  47. Chibi, this should be the only diagram you’ll ever need. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gal34LaEhkk

    Let me get this straight DH doesn’t factor into transition? Or eliminating extra possessions? If you honestly think that you’ve never seen the guy play.

    Perfect example with that Ty Lawson play in the highlight reel I just linked. Against the current Lakers roster that is 2 easy points for Lawson because Bynum is struggling to get up the floor, Howard is already there and erases any mistakes his teammates potentially make. I guess you forgot how the Lakers won game 7 of the Finals 2 years ago? Defense wins championships, not offense. I’d like to see Bynum be able to make even a fourth of the plays in that video.

  48. Dr. Buss hospitalized. He’s doing well, though:

    http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/7328734/los-angeles-lakers-owner-dr-jerry-buss-blood-clots-hospitalized

    All chibi is trying to say is that historically Dwight has really struggled to score in 1-on-1 situations against Kendrick Perkins. There’s merits to that statement. And if we give up 2 of our bigs for Dwight, we have less offensive options in general. With that said, I don’t think our offense will be predicated on Dwight drawing double teams (the way Orlando’s is). So our offense shouldn’t grind to a halt just because Howard can’t score on Perkins. I can see both sides of the argument.

  49. here’s an angle on howard v bynum that hopefully is a little fresh

    “a change is as good as a rest”

    re: mr bean, howard will be like a new gf, while bynum is like the old wife.

  50. I’m with Chibi and Chris J on this one. Both wrote more eloquently than I could, or care to, from these cheap seats. A new coach and 5 games sitting on his keester after a delayed start to the season will have Bynum breathing fire once he gets on the court, I’m betting. The Lakers are a serviceable guard away from continuing to be every team’s nightmare — even without Dwight.

  51. Aloha,

    Dwight stated today that he will not sign an extension with anyone, traded or not. And under the new CBA that makes perfect sense. If he signs now he can extend for only 2 years. if he waits until summer it can be up to 5 years. This leads to an interesting question. Do you trade away Andrew, with no guarantee that Howard is going to re-sign next summer?

    Personally I do not make that trade. That goes for Cris Paul if he is of the same mind set. I would try and add upgrades where I can and wait until the season is over and see if a sign and trade can be made at that time. It would be just to big of a risk without the sign and trade.

  52. Obviously there are pros and cons to all four of the possible scenarios:

    1. We stay pat
    2. We get Dwight
    3. We get CP3
    4. We get both

    Of these, 1 is the stance we should take outwardly, while trying for 2~4. In my mind it’s 4>2>3, but we should seriously try without packaging all three of our 7 footers.

  53. Michael H, Where on earth has Dwight made any comments like that Today as you have stated? Can you provide proof because I have heard and read nothing of the sort. As far as I have seen he has not gone on record saying anything anywhere.

    And you do realize you are just as likely to lose Bynum next year to free agency seeing he is an unrestricted free agent in 2012 and it’s easy to see why after being mentioned in numerous trades and wanting to be the number 1 guy that he would jump ship for another team. It makes more since to get Howard now no matter what, you attempt to get him at all costs as long as it doesn’t require Gasol and Bynum.

  54. Forgetting all the on-floor reasons for or against a Howard trade, I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the money. Looking at the numbers cited above, with Howard, we’d be looking at 95m for 6 players in 2013/14… plus I imagine, a rock-bottom of 20m to fill the roster, and Coon’s estimated 65m in penalties? So $180 million in payroll? At age 77, and aware that his family inherits this team, is Jerry Buss going to pull the trigger on that kind of future obligation? I know it’s not as interesting as debating trade packages or player merits. But just being honest, Buss went through a five month lockout in which the majority of the league was painting a target on his back in the form of a dollar sign. I imagine he’s trying to keep as much profit as possible from the TW deal.

  55. Aloha Lakers8884

    Bill Ingram at Hoopsworld had the story after Dwight met with management. As for Andrew, the Lakers hold a team option for Andrew next year, so we still could pull off a trade. I know Doctor Buss is a gambler but giving up Andrew for someone that can walk is a big risk as far as I’m concerned.

  56. I read that article too Michael H, but until I hear anything from Dwight directly about staying with Orlando or even wanting to be traded to LA everything is rumor from outside sources.

    I forgot that the Lakers have a team option on Bynum and I am sure they would pick it up but I can seriously see him wanting to leave eventually based on him being the current 3rd option scoring wise on the team. I could be wrong but judging from his comments in the past I just see him as a player wanting to be the number 1 guy. Either way I don’t see him as the long term future of LA, you don’t build a structure on a shaky foundation (his knees).

    Dave you make a great point about the finances of the matter. The way I would see it if I were the Buss family is Kobe has maybe 2-3 good years left in him. Why not go all in these next few years to see how many titles you can get out of him before he completely falls off, at that time you can figure out how to shed horrible contracts (or even along the way) but you need at least one Superstar to build around for the future. Dwight will be that guy in my opinion so get him now while he’s available.

  57. it may be kobe’s time..adding dwight or chris will make us younger and a bigger contender fast. do this one for kobe. i ran across this article. is kobes career retirement closer than we thought? http://sportsfanwork.com/articles/nba/nov11/closerthanwethought.html

  58. Let’s address some financial and team balance factors in a Bynum/Howard trade.

    We need to begin by assuming Dwight wants to come to Los Angeles. If so, Orlando seems to be willing to honor his wishes. If not, stop reading.

    That leads to the further assumption that Los Angeles and Orlando will make parallel, position for position trades consistent with their immediate needs and salary projections.

    First, let’s consider Orlando. The amnesty of Arenas alone drops Orlando below the salary cap, and still leaves them in a position to win the Eastern conference (but maybe one player short with the current squad).

    For at least the next two years, the Lakers may be willing to be substantially over the salary cap, but they need to make at least some effort to REDUCE that amount this year without playing the amnesty card–and they still need at least a decent veteran PG.

    My parallel trade players are Bynum/Odom/Blake, for Howard/Bass/Duhon: C/PF/PG

    This would give approximately $2,500,000 in salary relief to the Lakers. If Orlando wanted to reduce the difference to near zero, they could demand one of the Lakers rookies, perhaps Morris. rather than Blake.

    Orlando would have a veteran front three far more formidable than any other team in the East (6-10/7-1/6-10) with a veteran PG (Nelson) and a sharpshooter (Reddick)–and good depth. They would still be contenders, and they would not need to break up their team in the near future.

    The Lakers would be two years away from Armageddon-a major team transition.

    Much like the Memphis deal, this could end up being a very fair trade either now or downstream for both of them.

  59. The flakers on this blog is growing in ridiculous numbers. To think about “not having to” trade for Dwight out of pressure is just plain idiocy. The same was true for Carmelo Anthony too remember? Yet the Knicks paid, got their star.

    To say that we wouldn’t “have to” include Odom or take a bad contract back is just ridieffinyoulous. You have to think every GM in the world kisses your feet and begs you for mercy. Why not offer Luke Walton and Steve Blake for Dwight Howard and 2 1sts while you’re at it?

    I understand the basics of negotiation 101 and leverage but its you would be more naive than my 3yo daughter if you thought Orlando would beg us for a deal.

  60. ^^ And other than the possibility of “I’m dreaming of a Dwight Christmas” … the only other move I am so excited about is the rumors of Afflalo joining our club. Loved that guy from day 1 and admire his game.

    He’s the modern day Bruce Bowen. With twice the strength.

  61. After reading the Bills Simmons column on the possible CP3 to Lakers trade, I am starting to lean in that direction when comparing to a possible Dwight Howard trade.

    The reason being, that Hornets have some more pieces that could come along with such a trade: Okafor and maybe Trevor Ariza.

    Okafor is a solid defensive anchor, who hasn’t had much in terms of injuries for a long time. He might end up being an upgrade to the oft injured Bynum. (Only because of said injuries, talent wise they are not comparable).

    So the top 3 of the team gets upgraded, while the team remains covered on all positions… is bloody tempting.

  62. The Dane,
    From potential and history perspectives, Okafor is definitely not in Bynum’s league. While we cannot remove injuries from the equation, we fans tend to count them 90% of the reason for any trade. Obtaining CP3 for Bynum is, IMO, just trading one injury risk for another. In the process we lose our dominant front line into the future.

    Regardless what Colin Coherd says, the biggest winners throughout NBA history are those teams with dominating centers. There are always exceptions and I do agree there are fewer true centers coming into the league, due to ‘ESPN dumb’ youngsters not wanting to practice back-to-the-basket skills. However, all this does is make the team with the dominant center more dominant.

    Since both Bynum and Howard are dominant centers, it becomes a rather minor issue which one we have. This is where the ‘fan fear of failing feet’ (knees) starts to overtake the conversation.

    The one thing fans fail to take into account, is that Bynum was not only drafted by the Lakers, but wanted to come to the Lakers. Kobe is near the end of his #1 career and Bynum has a built in situation where both cash and outside interests are available. Howard would like to come to NY or LA for that reason, people.

    While I wouldn’t mind seeing CP3 here, I don’t get all bent out of shape at the thought that we won’t be able to get him.

    P.S. I was looking at Lakers 2011 draft articles and noticed several commentators were saying the Lakers got the steal of the draft in selecting Morris at #41. Let’s slow down and smell the roses. Remember, we didn’t have a summer league to pump us up this year.

  63. warren, please tell me who miami sent to cleveland in exchange for lebron?

  64. 62, I concur. I’ve always said that Bynum + Odom for CP3 + Okafor is a no-brainer. Sure, it leaves us thin up front, but we go from arguably the worst starting PG in the league to the best starting PG in the league. And if we’re concerned about financials, at some point, Bynum’s contract is going to come up and we’re going to have to vastly overpay him to keep him. Given we already have Kobe’s enormous contract, and Gasol’s huge contract, we would have 3 max contracts, and given Bynum’s injury history, I worry about giving him a long-term max contract.

  65. 62, I too would do that trade, I think Okafor can duplicate 3/4 of what Bynum can do while still playing better defense. And if you are telling me we get younger on the wing by adding Ariza back I’m all for it. In a perfect world with that trade we would keep Odom and ship out Artest so there isn’t a logjam at small forward.

    Bill Simmons has some pretty creative ideas you have to give him credit.

  66. Now we are speaking my language, a trade for CP3 plus a big is what LA needs. We have to remember that Kobe’s days on th perimeter are virtually done, who needs a paint clogging center taking away from where Mr. Bean needs to be in his final seasons. This roster is not built for a dominant big currently,no outside shooting, a playmaker is the best fit possible.

  67. I say no way on CP3 trade without a sign and trade. If CP3 comes without an extension, he is bailing to New York at the end of the season. Period.

  68. we already force teams to take long 2s and 3s. the problem isn’t interior defense. it’s that our wings aren’t athletic enough to chase down rebounds.
    how is dwight howard supposed to defend the rim and then beat russell westbrook to a long rebound/loose ball?
    how is dwight howard supposed to roll to the basket, box out his man, and then come up with the offensive rebound on a long, missed jumper?
    howard does not magically make our aging wing players more athletic.