Now that the Orlando Magic have made it known that they intend to pursue Andrew Bynum as their number one trade target for Dwight Howard, the plot thickens for the Los Angeles Lakers with a potential blockbuster deal on the horizon.
Reportedly, the Lakers are willing to offer Bynum and Metta World Peace in return for Howard according to Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM.com:
“The Lakers are prepared to offer Andrew Bynum and Metta World Peace to the Magic in a trade for Dwight Howard, according to a source.”
The major snag in the proposed deal is the willingness of Howard signing a contract extension in order for the trade to officially go through. The Lakers appear to be adamant about an extension getting signed to get the deal done. This is a smart move by the Lakers’ front office, but it remains uncertain whether or not Howard is willing to budge on his current stance about signing an extension.
Obviously, the addition of Howard paired with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol is something that has GM Mitch Kupchak and possible Lakers VP Jim Buss drooling at the prospect of making it happen. There’s no guarantee that the Lakers won’t continue to pursue other deals in exchange for Gasol, but landing Howard for World Peace and Bynum is a giant leap in the right direction.
The real question is whether or not the Lakers will make this deal even if Howard continues to refuse to sign an extension with any team other than the Brooklyn Nets. The Lakers’ front office may decide to make the deal regardless with the appeal of Los Angeles potentially being enough to ensure a long-term deal with Howard.
It’s no secret that the opportunities in Los Angeles can be extremely lucrative to a personality like Howard’s. With all the endorsements and off-the-court perks in Los Angeles, it might be very difficult for Howard to walk away after just one season.
Even though this proposed deal is extremely tempting for the Lakers moving forward, the one aspect that most people seem to ignore is that Howard is coming off back surgery. With the Lakers dealing with Bynum’s knee problems over the last half decade or so, Los Angeles is no stranger to these problems, but whether or not Howard’s back will become a recurring problem remains to be seen.