For Bynum, Success Begins and Ends on Defense

Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith is doing everything he can to retain the services of Dwight Howard. He becomes a free agent in 2012 and Smith’s latest blockbuster deal that brought in Gilbert Arenas isn’t producing results fast enough to extend Howard’s career in Orlando.

Anything short of a title may send Howard packing for the sands bordering the Pacific Ocean.

Then there’s Andrew Bynum. Although he’s signed with the Lakers through the 2013 season, his days in a purple and gold uniform might be numbered. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak won’t rule out a possible trade scenario and fans are ready to let him go in exchange for the likes of Carmelo Anthony.

There may only be one person in charge of helping Bynum extend his days in Laker Land and that’s Bynum himself.

Not that it wouldn’t be fascinating to see Anthony’s name on the Staples’ Center marquee next to Kobe Bryant’s and Pau Gasol’s, but take a step back from the aesthetics of it all and realize that what the Lakers really need, Anthony can’t give them.

Bryant is still a prolific scorer, regardless of how many shots he takes. Gasol is still the Lakers best bet for efficient offensive, that is, when he’s aggressively looking for his shots. Lamar Odom is a spark off the bench and can produce in the double-digits on a nightly basis.

The Lakers don’t need another scorer. The Lakers need blocked shots, defensive rebounds, second-shot opportunities and a presence in the middle to ward off unwanted players trying to cause havoc in the paint.

“We’re about him getting the position, blocking shots, being active, challenging people coming into the lane,” Jackson said. “Those type of things.”

If Bynum could do all that, there wouldn’t be so many Lakers fans bolting for the ESPN trade machine.

Next: Bynum’s performances on defense haven’t exactly been stellar

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