Howard-Bynum Trade Would be Good for All Concerned PartiesIn his most recent column, Kevin Ding makes a point that I have been emphasizing for more than a year: the most likely way for the L.A. Lakers to vault back into legitimate championship contention is to trade Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard. Ding also notes that such a deal would be good for all concerned parties--not just Howard and Bynum individually but also both the Lakers and the Orlando Magic.
Ding explains why the trade works for Howard and the Lakers:
The Lakers need a healthy dose of gambling's fear to bring out the best in them--and the prospect of trading for Howard and losing him for nothing in a year is certainly plenty scary.
But the reality is that there are benefits awaiting the Lakers even in that worst-case scenario that could easily be explained by Dwight again being a loon who fails to listen to reason: What can you do if the goofy dude walks away from far more money from the Lakers because he wants to dress up like a cowboy in Dallas or curl all the way up into the fetal position in hometown Atlanta?The Lakers are already absolutely opposed to paying monster salaries to Bryant, Gasol and Bynum in 2014-15, so even if it's just Bryant and Gasol (or whomever Gasol is traded for) left in 2013-14, the Lakers get a head start on major change and their necessary evil of getting under the luxury-tax plateau.
Ding notes that Bynum and the Magic also would benefit:
Trading Howard for a bunch of expiring contracts or unspectacular potential, mostly what everyone but the Lakers is offering, is hardly the means to renewing any optimism in Orlando. And it was clear from new Orlando general manager Rob Hennigan's tone during a news conference Monday that he appreciates his community's need to move forward as soon as possible with players who are committed to the cause and understand winning.For all his quirks, Bynum does know what it takes, has no qualms about leaving the Lakers and is sincerely eager for a team to call his own. He is predisposed to knee injuries, but he is getting his second consecutive healthy summer to build himself up. He already became the bona fide best other center in basketball--and one who happens to be two years younger and in a contract situation to commit right now long-term to Orlando, precisely what Howard would not do.
posted by David Friedman @ 1:57 PM