The Dwight Howard trade rumors involving the Los Angeles Lakers began to heat up once again on Tuesday. Talk of the Lakers and Orlando Magic brass having discussions spread like wildfire across the headlines with most believing that a deal to send the superstar center to Los Angeles in exchange for Andrew Bynum might be given a green light.
As usual, no deal was made for Howard or was even close to coming to fruition. The talks to acquire Howard are reportedly ongoing between the Lakers and Magic, but no trade is imminent with Los Angeles supposedly needing another team to come in the mix to make it happen.
Despite all that trade talk involving Howard being sent to Los Angeles, Lakers VP Jim Buss claims that he’s looking for a having Andrew Bynum with the team next season according to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com via Twitter:
Jim Buss on Andrew Bynum: “I’ve been obviously a big fan of Andrew’s … we’re looking forward to a full, solid year with him.”
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) July 17, 2012
It appears that Buss is learning a lot from Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak in terms of answering questions by the media about players and potential trades. The statement by Buss on Bynum gives no real indication about whether or not the Lakers intend to trade him. This is a smart, Kupchak-like move by Buss.
It’s no secret that if the Lakers have a chance to acquire Howard without taking on the lucrative contracts of Jason Richardson or Hedo Turkoglu, the trade will be made immediately with no looking back. Even though that appears to be the case with the team continuing to talk with the Magic, the Lakers don’t want to get on Bynum’s bad side by dropping his name to the media as the trade asset that will be sent elsewhere in a potential blockbuster trade.
If a deal can’t be made to land Howard, the Lakers will immediately turn their attention to signing Bynum to a long-term contract extension. Hopefully, if it comes to that, Bynum isn’t fed up with the Lakers and all the trade talk in Los Angeles.