NBA Rumors: Andrew Bynum Contract Talk Is Leverage to Land Dwight Howard

Yesterday, Dwight Howard repeated for the seemingly millionth time that he does not want to play for the Orlando Magic a single game longer. 

This is nothing new, and nothing shocking. This news should not be making any headlines across the nation. However, it may have been the turning point where the new Orlando GM Rob Hennigan accepts he is going to lose his superstar no matter how hard he tries.

So what does this mean for the Lakers, and why would this be in any way connected to the Lakers reportedly entering discussions for an extension for Andrew Bynum?


That is what is occurring here. While many may see the Dwight-trade-talks and Bynum-extensions as mutually exclusive scenarios, that if the Lakers extend Bynum then the Dwight-to-LA dreams are over, this simply isn't true.

In fact, Bynum will not be signed to an extension. By no team, even if he is traded.

Mitch Kupchak, one of the shrewdest GM's and among the best at his job in the Association, knows this. He knows that even if Bynum is offered a max contract extension, it will be turned down. Why in the world would Andrew Bynum, coming off a healthy and career year, sign a three-year max deal when he could simply wait a season and sign a four- or five-year deal at the same rate?

Once he becomes an unrestricted free agent over the summer, any other team can offer a max four-year deal. If Drew decides he wants to stay in the sunny place of Lakerland, then he can cash in on a  five-year max contract via Bird Rights. 

A four- or five-year deal is a safer bet for any NBA player, which is only amplified if the player in question has had an injury-riddled career. Financial security is hard to come by in this economy. NBA players' agents know this and will try to maximize their clients' (as well as their own) profits while the getting is good.

But once again, how does ...

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