Los Angeles Lakers Would Be Better off Without Dwight Howard

Steve Nash's signing in Los Angeles has helped fuel the Dwight Howard trade rumors, but the Lakers would be better off without the indecisive big man.

First of all, the gap between Howard's production and that of Andrew Bynum has shrunk dramatically. Just take a look at their 2012 numbers: 

Howard: 54 GP, 38.3 mpg, 20.6 ppg, 14.5 rpg, 2.1 bpg, 57.3 FG%, 49.1 FT%, 24.29 PER

Bynum: 60 GP, 35.2 mpg, 18.7 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 55.8 FG%, 69.2 FT%, 23.00 PER

Is there anything in those two lines that puts Howard leaps and bounds ahead of Bynum?

Yes, there's a big difference in rebounding, but the Magic don't have another seven-footer like Pau Gasol to collect some of those boards. Howard was also on the floor for three more minutes per game, which helps account for the disparity.

Other than that, Bynum is right on Howard's level statistically.

Sure, some of those stats don't account for Howard's overall impact on defense, but it's not like the Lakers need a ton of help on that end of the floor. Last season, their opponents shot 43.7 percent from the field, ninth lowest in the NBA. Meanwhile, Orlando was in the bottom half of the league (16th), allowing opponents to shoot 44.9 percent on field goals.

Bynum—and it just feels weird writing this—has even been healthier than Howard recently. Howard missed the entire 2012 playoffs after undergoing back surgery, and there's no telling how the injury will affect his performance.

Add in the fact that Howard is two years older, more expensive and just as petulant as Bynum, and I really don't see any good reason to give up Bynum and other assets to bring in Howard.

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