It has been no secret that over the course of the past few weeks the Los Angeles Lakers have been doing everything within their power to acquire superstar center Dwight Howard in a blockbuster trade. With All-Star center Andrew Bynum being the only player of any interest to the Orlando Magic in return; the swap for the two centers seems to make more sense than any other proposed deal.
Now that the Brooklyn Nets are out of the running and the Houston Rockets are finding it difficult to make a deal work, the Lakers are seemingly the frontrunners to make the trade that would send Howard to Los Angeles.
In a somewhat expected turn of events, the Lakers will meet with the Magic on Tuesday to talk about making the blockbuster trade that would almost certainly make the Lakers the favorites to come out of the Western Conference next season according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
Lakers pushing hard to land Magic center Dwight Howard & meeting with Magic today,sources tell Y! LAL wants DH contract extension commitment
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 17, 2012
Once the Nets were no longer an option for Howard, the consensus has been that it would just be a matter of time before the Lakers stepped in as the best candidate to land the three-time Defensive Player of the Year.
Over the past few years, the Lakers have be reluctant to part ways with Bynum as they continue to try and develop the up-and-comer to become one of the most dominant centers in the NBA. Despite finally witnessing a breakout season by the 24-year-old, Los Angeles finally seems ready to ship Bynum elsewhere.
The combination of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace and Howard would be arguably the most intimidating starting lineup in the NBA. There’s no question that even if the Lakers were to pull of another blockbuster deal, the bench is still a major concern with no signings yet confirmed.
The reports of a deal with veteran forward Antawn Jamison may have been premature on Monday, but may ultimately be the direction the Lakers go in to bolster the bench moving forward. Adding Jermaine O’Neal also appears to be the works with the Lakers using the veteran’s minimum to sign both players.
It remains to be seen if free agent forward Jordan Hill is still a viable option with the Minnesota Timberwolves making a hard push for the 24-year-old forward.