On Wednesday, July 25, Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Dwight Howard still wants a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers and won't reconsider signing an extension with the Orlando Magic. The Lakers appear to be moving on and are hoping to re-sign Andrew Bynum instead.
Though it seems that the Lakers would still be interested in a trade for Howard, they need to let this situation die. While Howard would dramatically improve the team's ability to defend the pick-and-roll and stabilize the team's overall defense, he's not worth the drama that surrounds him.
Unless a third team gets involved, the Lakers would need to take on some of Orlando's bad contracts, which would force Kupchak to put the team deeper into the luxury tax. That's just not smart business. Maybe the Lakers could have taken on the extra salaries under the old collective bargaining agreement, but the new CBA is much more restrictive.
Meanwhile, it appears that the Magic are unwilling to take a lesser deal on Howard, which makes sense. They shouldn't allow him to force a trade that doesn't suit the team. Howard's antics have destroyed any leverage the Magic had to make a deal, and now he'll have to wait until the club can find a way to avoid taking a loss on a trade.
The Lakers can't afford to wait on the Magic and Howard to figure out their problems. They have a roster to build and stabilize, which includes figuring out how to make Andrew Bynum feel comfortable wearing the purple and gold again after dangling him in the Howard sweepstakes. It's going to take some work to persuade Bynum to sign an extension instead of becoming a free agent next summer, and the first step would be to finally let go of Howard.
The time has come for the Lakers to move on without Dwight Howard. They gave it a good run, but there are too many other things going on with the team to focus on a selfish malcontent who has purposely destroyed his relationship with his old team.
Derek Ciapala has been a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers since childhood. His favorite Lakers' moment is when they beat the Detroit Pistons 108-105 in Game 7 of the 1988 NBA Finals. You can follow him on Twitter @dciapala or on Facebook.
- Sports & Recreation
- Dwight Howard
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Andrew Bynum
- Orlando Magic