Lakers Get Dwight Howard!

The long national Dwightmare is over. According to multiple reports, Dwight Howard will be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers as early as tomorrow.

In the proposed four-team trade the Lakers will send Andrew Bynum to the Philadelphia 76ers and Philly will send Andre Iguodala to the Denver Nuggets. The Orlando Magic will get multiple players and first round draft picks from all three other teams.

Early rumors had Pau Gasol headed to Denver but that does not seem to be happening now. Gasol should be staying with the Lakers.

Being able to acquire Howard and still hang on to Gasol is a coup for the Lakers. This trade certainly makes them a favorite to win a championship this season.

So we are looking at a starting lineup of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Gasol, Howard and Metta World Peace. That’s a starting five that should be able to beat any team in the league.

As long as David Stern doesn’t veto this trade the Lakers could very well be hanging their 17th Championship banner very soon.

Dwight Howard IS Coming To The Lakers!

UPDATE (07/08/12, 8:48pm PST): Andrew Bynum has been unwilling to sign a contract extension and has made it known that he is willing to test the free agency market after the 2012-2013 season. This has pretty much killed the deal between Orlando and Los Angeles.

UPDATE (07/06/12, 10:05 am PST): Apparently the Lakers are NOT demanding Dwight Howard sign an extension. They believe they can convince him to stay if they can compete for a championship. Oh, boy.

Rumors of an impending trade between the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers are burning up the internet this morning.

The prize for the Lakers is, of course, Dwight Howard.

Supposedly, the framework for the blockbuster trade is in place. The Lakers will send Andrew Bynum to Orlando and get Howard in return.

The deal is contingent, however, on Bynum signing an extension with Orlando. No word on weather the Lakers are demanding the same from Howard.

The addition of Howard, along with recently acquired Steve Nash, would make the Lakers favorites to win a championship next season.

Reports are that Howard has already spoken to Kobe Bryant and Nash. The trade is supposed to be finalized over the weekend.

(Will be updating this story throughout the day. Stay tuned)

Dwight Howard Is NOT Coming to the Lakers!

Sorry Lakers fans, Superman is not coming to save the day.

No sooner did the Oklahoma City Thunder bounce the Los Angeles Lakers out of the second round of the NBA playoffs for the second year in a row then the trade rumors started.

It seemed that everyone, and I mean everyone, was not pleased with Andrew Bynum’s lackluster performance in Game 5. And if his four rebound effort didn’t make them angry his “I’ll play anywhere,” locker room comment after the game sure did.

Of course, everyone wants to trade Bynum for Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard. I’m here to tell you that is not going to happen. Dwight Howard does not want to play for the Lakers. I spent the better part of last night trying to explain that to all the broken hearted Lakers fans on Twitter, but they just wouldn’t listen.

Howard has made it pretty clear that he does not want to play with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. In fact, the only reason he signed on for another year with the Magic is because they threatened him with a trade to the Lakers. It was reported after this season’s trade deadline that the trade was agreed to between the two teams.

And why would you want to trade Andrew Bynum anyway? I know he can be a bit immature and stubborn at times but his upside is so great you would be a fool to trade him. The only center who might be better than him is Howard and he’s not coming. So what are your choices? Tyson Chandler? Joakim Noah? Al Jefferson? None of those guys are even close to Bynum’s skill level.

Not only is Bynum going to stay, I think you will see the Lakers build a team around him. Kobe is on his way out. He has maybe two or three seasons left in him. And those aren’t going to be high level seasons.

Whether you like it or not, Andrew Bynum is the future of the Lakers.

What’s Wrong With The Lakers?

I’m not even going to go into detail of last night’s beatdown the Lakers suffered at the hands of the Denver Nuggets. We all saw it. We all were sick about it.

I want to look forward. I want to look towards Game 7 and what the Lakers are going to have to do to win that game.

I think it’s pretty obvious that Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum are going to have to play better. And I believe they will play better because they couldn’t play any worse. Watching two seven-footers take jump shots and continually get beat on the inside is maddening. It’s almost like Pau and Drew forget that they are SEVEN FEET TALL.

Last night Pau played like he did during last season’s playoffs. When he wasn’t getting pushed around by players smaller than him he was moping up and down the court acting like his dog just died. (Either that or his girlfriend left him again.)

Andrew Bynum had one of the most lackluster double-doubles I have ever seen. Anybody who watched that game would have told you there was no way he had 16 rebounds.

Even worse than Pau and Drew was the total lack of effort on the defensive end by the rest of the team. When the Nuggets weren’t driving to the basket with little or no challenge, they were knocking down wide open jumpers.

I’m not asking them to play smothering, shut down defense, I’m just asking them to play SOME defense. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

It was sad to see Kobe’s effort last night go to waste. In a game where he should have inspired the rest of his team, his efforts fell flat. No one on the Lakers seemed to care that he was out there playing even though he was suffering from a stomach flu.

Despite his illness he scored 31 points and had two rebounds. I mention the rebounds because Pau only had one more rebound than Kobe. And Pau is seven feet tall and he wasn’t suffering from the stomach flu.

If the Lakers are to win Game 7 three things have to happen. First, Pau and Drew are going to have to play like the seven-foot All Stars that they are. Second, the rest of the team is going to have to play harder on defense. And third, Kobe Bryant is going to have to be Kobe Bryant.

I can guarantee you that at least one of those things will happen.

Are the Lakers Better WITHOUT Kobe?

How dare I even ask that question, right?  Of course the Lakers aren’t better without Kobe Bryant. But they are winning without him. And beating good teams, too. They have won their last four games, three of them against playoff teams.

Since Kobe has been on the bench Andrew Bynum has been a monster on the court.  He followed a 30 rebound game against the Spurs with a 30 point game against the Nuggets. Can those numbers hold up once Bryant comes back into the lineup? Some people think they can’t.

This reminds me of when Linsanity hit the New York Knicks. With Carmelo Anthony out, Jeremy Lin energized the team and led them on a great run. The fear in every Knicks fan’s mind was that Melo was going to come back and screw everything up.

That is the fear some Lakers fans have right now.

Can Kobe Bryant come back and be a complementary player to this team? Would anyone even suggest this? I seriously doubt that Mike Brown would approach Kobe with this suggestion.

But if the Lakers are going to contend for a 17th championship that’s exactly what Kobe is going to have to do.

He’s going to have to become a more efficient player. The days of jacking up 30 shots a game are gone.  He’s going to have to make due with 18-20 shots per game. He’s needs to pick his spots.

Kobe desperately wants to win that sixth championship ring and the window for him to do that is rapidly closing. His ego is going to have to take a back seat when he comes back. If he truly wants that sixth ring, he’s going to have to let the rest of the team win it for him. He will have to trust them to win it for him.

Right now this Lakers team is giving him every reason to trust them. Let’s just hope he does.

Andrew Bynum: The Ego Has Landed!

Why, Andrew? Why do you do this to me? Why do you make me look bad? I have been a huge fan of Andrew Bynum since he first signed with the Lakers. I defended him when Kobe wanted to “ship his ass out.” I was in his corner through every injury-shortened season. When everyone wanted to trade him I was the one saying he is going to be an All-Star and soon to be best center in the game.

But all that is now in jeopardy after his antics last night against the Golden State Warriors. Coach Mike Brown benched Bynum after he took a very ill-advised three pointer in the first few minutes of the fourth quarter. That’s right; the dominating, 7-foot center was taking three pointers instead of posting up on the block and throwing down dunks.

To make matters worse, when Andrew came back in he played a few listless, uninspired minutes and found himself back on the bench. This time for good.

While on the bench he mugged for the cameras and refused to get up to join team huddles. He was the only one.  When asked why he did this he replied, “He (Brown) took me out of the game. So I just sat where he put me.” Its smart-ass answers like that that make you look stupid and lose fan support.

I think Andrew has been feeling himself a little too much lately. It’s like the success he has experienced this season has gone straight to his head. He is beginning to think he can do whatever he wants and it’s going to be all good.

I would like to think that the benching would have straightened Andrew out, made him see the error of his ways. However, after listening to his presser after that game all I saw was a petulant little child who is only looking forward to the next time he can shoot another three.

Andrew Bynum needs to understand that Lakers fans have endured quite a few seasons of his underachievement but have still stuck by him. Now that he has finally lived up to his potential he needs to understand that he is not bigger than the team.

Brandon Jennings To The Lakers?

It’s a new day and that means a new Lakers Trade Rumor is out. This time it’s Brandon Jennings. The good folks over at si.com reported that Branding Jennings is available. Nowhere in the article did it say that the Milwaukee Bucks are talking to the Lakers. But that hasn’t stopped everyone from speculating as to what the Lakers would give up for Jennings.

I have heard Pau Gasol would be traded for Jennings, Andrew Bogut and Stephan Jackson. And have also read the Lakers should Trade Andrew Bynum for the same package.

Both trade scenarios are ridiculous. If the Lakers turned down a deal that would send Gasol to the Celtics for Rajon Rondo, why in the hell would they accept Jennings? And trading Andrew Bynum for anyone, even Dwight Howard, doesn’t make sense.

I honestly think the Lakers will not trade away Gasol. There is no trade that makes sense. The Lakers would not get fair value in return.

And anyone suggesting that the Lakers trade Bynum is just trying to make the Lakers worse and is not to be trusted.

After the Chris Paul trade blew up and it became clear that Dwight Howard was not coming to LA, I said the Lakers team, as currently constructed, was going to be the team they would have at the end of the season.

Take a good look at the roster, because this is the team the Lakers will contend for a tile with this season. For good or for bad. The blockbuster trade is not happening. Superman is coming to save the day.