L.A. Lakers: Is Gasol for Smith the Best Move If Lakers Land Howard?

Most Los Angeles Lakers fans would agree the team has enjoyed a fairly successful summer after signing point guard Steve Nash to a three-year deal, re-signing reserve forward Jordan Hill and adding scoring from the bench in forward Antawn Jamison.

But there is a sense that the Lakers may not be done dealing, and there is a growing feeling of inevitability that the biggest prize of the summer will join the Lakers roster in a matter of days.

The speculation surrounding Orlando center Dwight Howard has been a topic of discussion for the better part of one year, but lately the Lakers are the only team that seems to be in serious contention for landing his services.

That may be because Howard has given no indication that he will sign a long-term extension if traded, which actually helps the Lakers by narrowing the list of teams that are willing to risk the future of its franchise on what could be just one season for Howard.

The Lakers have no such misgivings about Howard since they have their own free-agent situation to resolve with center Andrew Bynum, and management seems convinced that the Hollywood atmosphere and opportunity to play with a championship-caliber roster might convince Howard to stay.

Or if the Lakers do complete a deal for Howard, they could further solidify their chances of signing Howard long term by seeking to renew talks with the Atlanta Hawks concerning a Pau Gasol for Josh Smith swap.

According to CBSSports.com, the only reason the Lakers and Hawks did not complete a deal for Gasol and Smith earlier is because of the unreasonable asking terms on the Lakers' part.



Do you think the Lakers would revise their asking price for Gasol if it might directly affect their ability to extend Howard?

Howard and Smith both grew up in the Atlanta area playing on the AAU circuit and they remain close friends, which could be an important piece of in...

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