LA Lakers: What Will It Really Take to Bring Dwight Howard to Hollywood?

Most observers seem to think there is little to no chance that the Los Angeles Lakers can sign Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard once he finally becomes a free agent in the summer of 2012, but if Howard really wants to come to Hollywood and the Lakers are serious about acquiring him, a deal is possible.

It would likely be very expensive for the Lakers and they would have to make some very painful roster decisions, but the reward would be a player who could potentially lead the franchise into the next decade.

Any deal for Howard would probably mean that the Lakers would have to part with either Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom or some combination featuring two of those players, plus an abundance of draft picks.

Some observers feel that Orlando would never accept an older Gasol and Odom or an oft-injured Bynum for Howard, but that's assuming the Magic really have a definitive say in the matter.

If Howard does make it clear to Orlando general manager Otis Smith that he has no desire of returning to central Florida once his contract is up, then the Magic may be forced to take the best deal available or risk making the same mistake the Cleveland Cavaliers did.

Cleveland was held hostage by LeBron James during the summer of 2010, and once he did decide to take his talents to South Beach the Cavaliers were left with a few forgettable draft picks, and no time to find a suitable replacement for James.

It's not like Cleveland could have really found a player who could take James' place, but if owner Dan Gilbert felt like James was going to leave (and there were some signs) then he could have crafted a deal that would have left the franchise in a better position for the future.

Instead Cleveland went from one of the NBA's premier franchises to one of the league's worst, and Gilberts' declaration that the Cavaliers would win a championship before LeBron did sounded even more ridiculous after...

About the Author