L.A. Lakers: Dwight Howard for Andrew Bynum May Never Happen Due to Jim Buss

When Los Angeles Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss decided to hand the reins of the franchise over to his son Jim, there was probably not another Laker who was as happy as center Andrew Bynum.

Bynum has recently been the subject of plenty of speculation about his future as a Laker, and many fans have viewed the team's disappointing loss in the 2011 NBA playoffs as the beginning of the Lakers courtship of Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard.

Howard is perhaps the most prized player in the upcoming free-agent class of 2012, and many people who follow the Lakers have had a bull's-eye on Howard since he said he wouldn't mind playing in Los Angeles during last season's All-Star break.

Whispers about Howard's potential decision have to be unsettling to Orlando general manager Otis Smith, who doesn't want to be left with nothing if Howard decides to bolt from Florida in the summer of 2012.

Smith may take a cue from Denver and Utah, who both chose a proactive approach when it came to the expiring contracts of Carmelo Anthony and point guard Deron Williams.

Neither team wanted to risk losing the cornerstones of their respective franchises for nothing in return, so the Nuggets and Jazz shopped around for deals that would leave them with young players and draft picks to build around.

The time may come when Orlando is forced to make the same decision if Howard makes it clear he will not renew his contract, and under that scenario, the Lakers would have a sizable bargaining chip in Bynum.

Bynum is young and he has shown flashes of star potential, and there are few other teams who could offer Orlando a player as talented as Bynum.

Of course, there are the ever-present questions concerning Bynum's health, but youth is still on his side as far as recovery goes, and if the Lakers were to include a few other young players, a deal for Howard could be realistic.

At least, until Jim&...

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