Enough of this. The Los Angeles Lakers have been reportedly pursuing a Dwight Howard trade for quite some time. Obviously Howard is a talented big man, which is why the Lakers may be willing to give up a gifted center like Andrew Bynum. However, this story has been dragging on for what seems like an eternity. Howard has been in the headlines for a very long time due to uncertainty about his long-term future. If the Lakers can finally get this deal done, perhaps we can move on to some actual basketball. However, it may be time for Los Angeles to move on and let Orlando deal with this problem.
Wanting to be here
We have never heard this officially, but there have been rumblings that Dwight Howard does not necessarily want to come to the Lakers and share the spotlight with Kobe Bryant. If that is actually true, it doesn't sit well with Laker fans. Look at how fast Laker Nation embraced Steve Nash. Prior to the trade, Nash was a division rival that probably drew his share of hatred when he was making slick passes against the Lakers as a member of the Suns. However, it meant something to Los Angeles that Steve expressed a desire to join the Lakers. You want players that are excited to play for your team.
Even if the Lakers can get Orlando to accept a trade, they may simply be creating a new headache. According to recent comments from Howard's agent, the big man wants to explore free agency after this year. Therefore, the headline would switch from "Will the Lakers get Howard" to "Will the Lakers re-sign Howard." I don't want to have to read that headline for the next year. I'd rather watch some basketball.
Either this deal isn't actually getting worked on as much as media outlets are reporting, or there are key issues holding up the process. If teams are hesitant to acquire a star that could walk away, that is understandable. The problem is that either Howard or Bynum may ultimately refuse to sign an extension with their new team. That fact may kill any deal. Based on the way the NBA is structured, each player would do best financially if they stayed with their current team. That may be acceptable to Bynum, but Howard does not want to stay in Orlando.
Ultimately, this is Orlando's issue. The Lakers should move on.
The author grew up in Seattle and now lives in Los Angeles, where he enjoys the rivalry between the Lakers and the Clippers, and all the drama that goes with being in the Southland. You can follow him on Twitter @tpheifer.
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