Lakers Trade Rumors: Dwight Howard and Gasol Would Make LA Title Contenders

The Los Angeles Lakers could go from Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol to Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard.

Wipe the drool from your mouth, Lakers fans.

According to Gery Woelfel, a credible NBA free agency source, Howard could wind up with the Lakers:

Howard to the Lakers, with Bynum going to the Magic, still being discussed.

— Gery Woelfel (@GeryWoelfel) June 28, 2012 If the Lakers can acquire Howard, there is no way that they cannot be considered title contenders. Putting a six-time All-Star in the paint turns any team into a contender, but the Lakers are already halfway there without Howard's services.

The Lakers were already the second-best rebounding team in the league, and adding Howard would definitively establish Mike Brown's squad as the best rebounding team in the NBA. He has finished first or second in the league in rebounding in each of the last five seasons.

Howard's addition on defense goes without saying. He is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, finishing third, fourth, first and first in blocks the last four seasons. The Lakers allowed the 15th-most points per game last season, but that won't be the case if Howard comes to town.

On offense, Howard provides a more consistent formidable big man in the paint alongside Gasol. Bynum is a great player, but we frequently saw him disappear during the playoffs.

With Howard, the Lakers would have a go-to guy in the post every night. Not that they didn't already have two in Gasol and Bynum, but the two turned in disappointing playoff performances. 

Gasol and Bynum got dominated in the post by the Oklahoma City Thunder big men in the playoffs. Howard's arrival would ensure that wouldn't happen. If we learned anything in the NBA last year, it's that Howard can hardly try and still put up 20 and 10 every single night.

Los Angeles still doesn't have a viable option at the point guard spot. Ho...

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