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)

Will Lamar Odom Reunite With Lakers?

Over the last week it has been reported that former Laker, Lamar Odom wants to come back to Los Angeles.

And apparently the feeling is mutual. Head Coach Mike Brown and Kobe Bryant have both expressed interest in Odom’s return. All is well in Laker Land.

Well. Maybe not.

There are only two ways for Odom to get back into the Purple and Gold.

1. The Dallas Mavericks have to trade him to the Lakers. Odom is still under contract with the Mavs. So they have a decision to make. They can trade him or buy out his contract and make him a free agent.

2. Odom becomes a free agent and then waits until December 11th. That’s right, he will have to sit out part of the season. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, a player cannot return to a team he was traded from for one full year. It seems very doubtful that Lamar would sit out. But you never know. He’s a different breed of cat.

So, really, the only scenario for Lamar Odom to return to the Lakers would be via a trade. And would the Mavs, and Mark Cuban, be willing to make that trade? Doubtful.

So there is a way for Odom to come back home to the Lakers but it will be a strange and winding one. Luckily, Lamar is used to those type of trips.

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.

Should Kobe Go For The Scoring Title?

Kobe Bryant needs 38 points against the Sacramento Kings tonight to win his third NBA scoring title. There is a very good chance he can get those points but should he even be playing?

The Lakers have locked up the third seed in the Western Conference and conventional wisdom says that Kobe should be rested for the playoffs.  But I get the feeling that Kobe wants this scoring title. And whatever Kobe wants, Kobe usually gets.

And that leaves Coach Mike Brown in a difficult situation. If he keeps Kobe on the bench he runs the risk of upsetting Kobe and if he plays him and Kobe gets hurt he’s going to be vilified by the fans and talking heads alike.

I think this scoring title does mean a lot to Kobe. He’s 33, been in the league for 16 years and it seems like he has a bit of a chip on his shoulder this season. He wants to prove to all the critics and haters out there that he is still The Man. He wants to show that he is just as good, if not better, than the new crop of NBA superstars.

Winning championships is still the most important thing but getting another scoring title at this point in his career would be a nice little extra. Kobe will only play for a few more years (maybe two or three) and there has to be a sense of urgency in Kobe’s mind. He may only have one or two more legitimate shots at winning another championship.

For a game that should mean nothing there is a lot of drama surrounding it. For one more night all eyes are going to be on Kobe Bryant. And I’m sure he wouldn’t want it any other way.

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.

Come Back To LA, Lamar!!

Lamar Odom is looking for a new job. The Dallas Mavericks have given up on him and most of the sports writers are writing off his career.

I’m not one of those writers. I think there is only one place for him to go to revive his career and that is The Los Angeles Lakers.

Lamar belongs with the Lakers. It’s the only team he feels comfortable with and it was the team that he played the best for. After all, he was instrumental in the Lakers’ back to back championships. He was even Sixth man of the Year last season. And he is still the most versatile player in the league. Name me one other player that can play all five positions. I’ll wait.

Now, whether the Lakers will be able to get him back is another story. While he is no longer with the Mavericks, he is still under contract. Dallas can trade him to any team this offseason. The question is, after Lamar’s lackluster season, will any team want to trade for him?

Dallas can always release him and then he will be on the open market.

The real question is do the Lakers want him back? Kobe Bryant has gone on record saying he would welcome Lamar back. So hopefully that will have some sway with Lakers management.

I truly believe that if Lamar came back to the Lakers we would see the Lamar of old. He would be the x-factor that the Lakers desperately need.

If Lamar comes back to the Lakers, they can easily contend for another championship. And in the end that’s all that matters.