Bynum vs. Howard: Will Bynum Be Better Than Howard Next Season?

The Orlando Magic seem prepared to start the 2012-13 regular season with center Dwight Howard on the roster—and for the Los Angeles Lakers, that might not be a bad thing.

According to, the Lakers are still very interested in acquiring Howard, but they have begun preliminary contract extension talks with Andrew Bynum, who is sure to demand a max contract of his own.

And after next season, Bynum might prove that he deserves it, if he can stay healthy.

Statistically, Bynum and Howard clearly designated themselves as the top two centers in the NBA, but the numerical gap between them is not as large as you would think.

Last season, Howard averaged 20.6 points per game, 14.5 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and shot 57 percent from the floor and 49 percent from the free-throw line.

Bynum averaged 18.7 points per game, 11.8 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and shot 55 percent from the field and 70 percent from the free-throw line.

Those numbers are really not that far off from each other, and the perspective is changed when you factor in that Bynum's numbers were earned playing beside Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, who remain two of the best players in the game at their respective positions.

I believe that Bynum's production on a roster that includes Bryant and Gasol is commendable, but I have also heard cogent arguments that theorize Bryant and Gasol's presence actually inflate Bynum's numbers.

So how will the addition of Steve Nash affect that line of thought?

Now Bynum has three of the best positional players in the NBA on his team, and the newest just happens to be one of the most gifted sharers in the game.

The most impressive thing about Nash is that he tends to make everyone's shooting percentage go up; and after witnessing what he did with Marcin Gortat in the pick-and-roll, imagine what he can do with Bynum.

Nash might be the best play...

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