Lakers must trade Howard

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By james rosewarne, james rosewarne is a Roar Pro

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    If the Chicago-Los Angeles match taught us anything, it’s that the Lakers are about as far away from playoffs as they’ve looked at any point this season.

    The lows keep getting lower for the 16-time champions, dropping their ninth game in 11 and leaving them a full four games adrift from Houston who occupy the West’s eighth seed.

    They are just four games clear of Phoenix who are bringing up the conference rear.

    The Lakers have missed the playoffs just twice over the past 37 years and while they are surely due a pass now and again it’s their future seasons where there’s genuine cause for concern.

    The Lakers’ roster as presently constituted is the most expensive in the league and also one of the most precarious.

    The Lakers moved heaven and earth just six months ago to acquire the final year of Dwight Howard’s contract despite the big centre never providing any assurances he would commit to Los Angeles beyond this season.

    To compound the continual drama of Howard’s choice of workplace is the fact they’ll have little meaningful participation at this year’s draft due in part to the deal to land Howard but also owing to their aggressive pursuit of Nash.

    As far as I’m concerned the Lakers need to concede this season as an unmitigated disaster (again they’re entitled to one now and then) however they can’t also comprise their future prospects at the same time.

    The solution would be to perhaps trade Howard now as the risk of him leaving for nothing as well as no draft representation would be about as serious a situation as the Lakers have faced in some time.

    With that in mind here are the five strongest options the Lakers could and should pursue over the coming weeks.

    Dallas Mavericks

    Owner Mark Cuban seems to think Howard would like to do business in Dallas, however any trade with the Lakers would mean at least surrendering their first pick over the next couple of years, finding another pick from somewhere else and also including OJ Mayo and Jae Crowder.

    Houston Rockets

    The Lakers would know that sending Howard to the Rockets would set their franchise up perfectly so they might not be as inclined to deal with the same team who months ago also secured James Harden, Jeremy Lin and Ömer Aşık.

    Chandler Parsons, Carlos Delfino and one of either Marcus Morris or Jim Peterson would need to be involved as too would at least one first round draft pick, maybe two.

    Cleveland Cavaliers

    I personally think this would make the most sense for both parties. From LA’s perspective it would mean gaining what’s sure to be a high end lottery pick from the Cavs. This would mean selecting as low as they’ve had since 1982 when they used the number one pick to land James Worthy.

    The Cavs might also need to throw the beloved Anderson Verejao into the deal as well. As for Cleveland, they’ll be gaining the best centre in the game to pair with Kyrie Irving.

    That tandem would immediately make Cleveland playoff-worthy with the prospect of adding LeBron James in two years still alive.

    Brooklyn Nets

    Howard has repeatedly mentioned he could see himself in Brooklyn and though a trade involving the Nets was close pre-season, it does seem as though they’ve moved on quite well without his services.

    The Nets likely won’t be picking in the top 20 which won’t appeal to the Lakers, while it might be folly to assume the Lakers would be all in on either Brook Lopez or his large contract.

    Charlotte Bobcats

    This mightn’t be the most fashionable move, but one which could make a lot of sense for both parties. The trade would certainly need to start with Charlotte’s first pick which would be in that Cleveland territory and also include moving the number two pick from last season, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

    If Charlotte refused to budge on Kidd-Gilchrist then they might also have to include their second pick in addition Bismack Biyombo. For the Lakers this would mean two top-15 picks to go with Bryant, Nash and the final year of Gasol’s deal.

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    The Crowd Says (23)

    • January 23rd 2013 @ 9:48am
      Tavis said | January 23rd 2013 @ 9:48am | ! Report

      I think they need to clean house. Get rid of Dwight before he walks and they get nothing for him, they’d be better off taking anything they can get rather than hold out and end up with nothing.
      Tough call on whether they keep Nash, they have looked much much better without him. World Peace and Gasol need to go, they’re not providing much of anything lately – World Peace providing a whole lot of fouls, Gasol only providing headlines!
      The other thing they need to be smart about is that they need to bring in a good young player, Kobe will be gone soon and without a new young leader, the franchise will fall apart all together.
      I heard talks of Amare being put on the table, could be an option. It will definitely be interesting to see what happens to arguably one of the biggest NBA franchises…

    • January 23rd 2013 @ 9:55am
      Tavis said | January 23rd 2013 @ 9:55am | ! Report

      *they have looked much much better WITH him.

    • January 23rd 2013 @ 10:39am
      Bobba said | January 23rd 2013 @ 10:39am | ! Report

      The problem with the Lakers isn’t Dwight himself, but the coaching appointments to go with Dwight. You can be sure that if Phil Jackson was still there Dwight would not be getting tech foul after tech foul and even ejected before half time, because if he did he would be warming the pine or be gone…fullstop!! The Lakers need a hard nosed coach to keep the players in line, keep them focused, and remind them that NO ONE is indispensable (unless his name is LeBron James!). Boston to some degree are in the same boat. Doc Rivers has gotten soft on Garnett and Pierce (especially Pierce) and it’s no coincidence that they put up half efforts night in night out. On the other side of the coin you have Sir Popovich of the Mighty San Antonio Spurs (yes I am a Spurs fan!!). You can bet your bottom dollar if ANY player on his team doesn’t come to play and do the right things, they will get strips torn off them. Dwight needs this. Stan Van Gundy dictated to Howard. Howard might not have always listened but SVG let Dwight know that, franchise player or not, HE was the coach and he was not going to let Dwight dictate to him. Mike Brown and now D’Antoni I feel were/are intimidated by the quality and bargaining power that Dwight thinks he has and therefore are cautious in pulling him up on it, especially given how public things got between SVG and Howard. Still, if the Lakers are to put together a winning team that includes Dwight, this needs to happen!! The Lakers must trade Howard?? Yes. If it comes down to firing D’Antoni or keeping Dwight Howard, I think the latter will be the chosen path.

    • January 23rd 2013 @ 11:51am
      Boom said | January 23rd 2013 @ 11:51am | ! Report

      Rumoured that Nets are exploring a 3-way trade:
      Lopez to Wolves
      Love to Lakers
      Howard to Nets

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [].

      • January 23rd 2013 @ 12:29pm
        astro said | January 23rd 2013 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

        So the Wolves swap Love for Lopez??? Despite having an effective centre already on their roster???

      • January 25th 2013 @ 8:48pm
        Jwall said | January 25th 2013 @ 8:48pm | ! Report

        One of the funniest, and furthest from correct rumours I’ve ever heard!

    • January 23rd 2013 @ 12:26pm
      james rosewarne said | January 23rd 2013 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

    • Roar Guru

      January 23rd 2013 @ 12:27pm
      B-Rock said | January 23rd 2013 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

      Just a reminder that DH is the best centre in the game when healthy (which he is not at the moment)

      A trade for DH would involve another franchise player (at a minimum somewhere in the Kyrie Irving, James Harden range) or several young stars/high draft picks.

      Plus there are cap issues – DH will def get a max deal so you cant just add him to your existing roster even in free agency – you need to gut your roster like NY did for Melo

      Finally its going to be the weakest draft in 10yrs so not much value in a top 5 or 10 pick this year.

      Lakers wont be accepting any weak offers like a Pick + OJ Mayo + Jae Crowder or 1-2 picks + Chandler Parsons + Carlos Delfino + Marcus Morris/Jim Peterson.

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