Lakers Vault to #2 in the West with Howard Trade

The Los Angeles Lakers pulled of a coup in acquiring Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic.  It was a part of a four team trade that involved the Denver Nuggets and the Philadelphia 76ers.

In exchange for Howard, the Lakers will acquire Earl Clark and Chris Duhon, the Nuggets will acquire Andre Iguodala, the 76ers will receive Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson, and the Magic will get Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic and one protected future first-round pick from each of the three teams.  And for those of you who care about the minute crap, the draft picks the Magic will receive are Nuggets (2014), 76ers (2015) and Lakers (2017).

Now the question is, does this make the Lakers the team to beat?  My answer: not quite.

Before you all ask to have me drug-tested, follow me on this one.  The only player the Lakers gave up was Andrew Bynum.  So in what was essentially a center swap, the Lakers didn’t really upgrade as much as you’d think.

Bynum is a better offensive player than Howard.  Bynum can hit his free throws a lot better than Howard (69% to 59%).  And more importantly, Bynum is a pure 7-footer and has more muscle.  Howard is listed at 6’11” and is leaner.

And here’s the capper: the Lakers lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder with a pure 7-footer with a good offensive skill set.  You think Howard would improve their chances next season?

It’s still going to be Miami Heat-Thunder II in next year’s Finals.

By the way, no one is talking about how much better the 76ers are with Bynum.  They have the best pure 7-footer in the Eastern Conference.

Meanwhile, things have gotten a bit harder for my New York Knicks.  First the Nets keeping Deron Williams, trading for Joe Johnson and moving to my home borough of Brooklyn, and now this?  Damn…

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2 replies

  1. Klown, here’s why the Lakers are much improved with this trade.

    1. Bynum has played through ONE season (last year) without missing lots of games due to knee problems.
    2. Dwight has never had a bad game and then claimed he just didn’t feel it. He comes to play every night.
    3. Dwight gets to wait in the key and swat every shot funneled to him by Nash and Kobe, grab every rebound, and catch alley-oops from Nash. Bynum is too slow footed for that defensive role, and can’t run the pick and roll HALF as well as Dwight. .
    4. Bynum needs to have the ball down low, and gets pouty when he doesn’t get “fed” too often. Dwight doesn’t have to have a certain # of touches to be happy.

    Also, if LA can also grab Barbosa to come off the bench, they will have a guard to deal with speedy guards and someone who can take off for easy fast-break points and open threes.

    They just jumped right ahead of OKC and the only thing that can come between them and the finals is incompetent coaching.

  2. Without the Nash deal I would agree with you. But with Nash’s non-existent matador defense against Westbrook and Parker, the defensive upgrade that Howard represents over Bynum becomes important.

    This is a good move – but they’re still a notch below the Thunder, Spurs and Heat. And that’s IF Howard doesn’t have the rumored back issues.

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