Lakers Trade Rumors: LA Must Keeping Trying to Deal for Dwight Howard

The Los Angeles Lakers must not give up hope of landing Dwight Howard this summer. Even after the superstar big man publicly told Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski that he would only extend his contract with the Brooklyn Nets, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak should still be trying to swing a deal with the Orlando Magic.

Howard is a once-in-a-generation talent that can be one of the most dominant players in the league when motivated. He’s never had any truly great teammates in the NBA (he did get some experience with the best-of-the-best as a member of the 2008 “Redeem Team” in the Beijing Olympics) and that is clearly starting to grate on the center.

Should Howard play with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol (likely, as Andrew Bynum would almost certainly be the odd superstar out in any potential deal that lands Howard in L.A.), the Lakers would certainly become a championship contender.

It would be hard to imagine Howard not re-signing if his new franchise were to make a deep postseason run and he would immediately forget about signing with Brooklyn.

There is a slim chance that the Nets make the playoffs in 2013, and Howard would certainly have second thoughts and doubts about making a move when he could be on the cusp of a title in L.A.

As much as Howard has become a distraction over the past year, he’s still one of the best and most consistent players in the game. He has career averages of 18.4 PPG, 13.0 RPG and 2.2 BPG while remaining relatively healthy; as 2012 marked his first major injury.

He’s a much surer thing than Bynum, who is coming off his first truly solid start-to-finish season in his career.

Because Howard would be a clear upgrade to the Lakers' roster, Kupchak has to pull the trigger on any deal he can find that doesn’t cost him Bryant in the process.

When it comes time for DH12 to sign an extension or test free agency...

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