Breaking Down the Lakers Talks with Dwight Howard
For months, teams have been coming to Orlando with deals upon deals to bring the big man to their team. Orlando hasn't been impressed enough with these deals. What seems to have happened now is that Orlando has continued to play a game that no one else is really interested in playing anymore. They've had talks with Nets, who have moved on. In the last week there have been rumors that they're talking with the Houston Rockets, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers. But all anyone is doing is talking it seems.
The other problem is Howard. He wants to have a say in where he goes, but he's being very picky, and has made it clear he won't sign an extension, which has shortened the list of suitors. There have also been reports from various sources that Howard wants to be "the man" on a team, which is why he wasn't particularly interested in Los Angeles. Again, while that's been reported places, it's still hearsay since Howard hasn't actually said it himself.
So now we're here. With the Lakers and Magic in talks and more "sources" saying things like the trade will be "very hard to pull off." At this point it seems like Howard doesn't even know what he wants to do. It's worse than back in the regular season when he decided to stay with the Magic.
All of this brings to light the issue of keeping Andrew Bynum. If Howard won't sign the extension then the Lakers have both men for the same amount of time. Offensively, Bynum is the stronger player, but defensively it's Howard. Both now have a history of injury, Howard's more recent than Bynum's. Both have shown a lack of interest or loyalty in the teams they play for (which isn't necessarily important during the off-season since anyone can be traded, but they both seemed lackadaisical toward the end of their respective seasons). Howard is older than Bynum, but Bynum has a history or maturity issues. Bynum's also got a solid three inches on Howard.
With all this in mind, you have to ask yourself, who would you rather have? Granted, it seems the Lakers will only sign Howard if he'll agree to an extension, which Bynum has already turned down as well (although there's speculation about whether or not he did that to avoid a trade). So, given one year, who would you rather have as your center? It's a tough call to make.