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Winderman: Lakers shouldn’t trade Bynum now because they’ll need to later

Feb 9, 2011, 8:19 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

Let’s see:

You don’t trade Andrew Bynum because it compromises the Lakers’ size advantage.

You don’t trade Andrew Bynum because it compromises the Lakers’ already questionable defense.

You don’t trade Andrew Bynum for Carmelo Anthony because Jim Buss loves the guy to pieces.

Fair enough. All (except the latter) legitimate points.

But here’s another one: You don’t trade Andrew Bynum now because you will need him to be available for a trade later.

Putting aside the possibilities of Carmelo Anthony, instead consider the possibilities of Dwight Howard. A Magic center jumping to the brighter lights of the Lakers? Never heard that one before.

To combine two rumors into one (sort of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of conjecture), consider that Howard has the right to opt out of his contract after next season. That should make Howard next season’s Anthony, a player who will find himself in his own whirlwind of midseason rumors.

But then consider the possibilities. Having lived through the Shaq saga, the Magic is well aware of how it all can come apart if left to blind faith. Yes, Dwight is insisting he isn’t thinking about going anywhere right now.

Right now, of course, he doesn’t have the option. He will at the end of 2011-12.

So then merge today’s hottest rumor (Carmelo to the Lakers for Bynum!) to next season’s hysteria (Dwight leaving the Magic!), and then consider this: Bynum for Howard in 2012.

Unlike with the Shaq episode, the Magic not only get a replacement in the middle, but a young replacement, one, who, when you consider the alternatives, might instantly become the best center in the Eastern Conference (no, really, seriously, with all due respect to Andrew Bogut, Joakim Noah, Al “His Father Says He’s Not a Center” Horford and Brook Lopez).

Beyond that, the possibility of landing Howard could prove so enticing to the Lakers that they might even be willing to absorb the dreadful mistake currently known as Gilbert Arenas‘ contract. The Magic might even be able to squeeze Lamar Odom out of the deal.

Of course, move Bynum now for Carmelo and that opportunity goes out the window for the Lakers, who then only would have an extended Carmelo to offer for Howard. (It sort of would be like where the Knicks stand now, without first-round picks and much in the way of tradable assets because of last summer’s free-agency desperation.)

No, Dwight Howard isn’t going anywhere right now.

But he could be in play next season, and that should have the Lakers playing this season out and instead considering the possibilities of next February.

And years beyond.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/IraHeatBeat.

  1. vikesdynasty - Feb 9, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    what are you babbling about? why not trade for carmello now and then they can sign dwight as a FA, they’ll be fricken set for another 7 years…they could trade pau or odom for cap relief or even ron artest by then because he wont have much left on his contract…and kobe will probably be on his way out theres an extra what 20 million?….stupid story no offense

    • loungefly74 - Feb 9, 2011 at 9:21 PM

      really? dude…your argument is full of flaws. get melo now?…okay, so no championship this year…howard becomes a FA at the end of next year so thats another year lost, assuming no other moves are made. seriously doubt kobe will be on his way out and even suggesting getting rid of pau is silly.
      what the article suggest is the Lakers have the potential talent to win this year…with Bynum. and to wait trading bynum till howard is available.

  2. lawrinson20 - Feb 9, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    I think his “babbling” suggests that it’s advantageous for the Lakers to trade for Dwight a year earlier than his FA year. So that they get him when he’s younger, and when Kobe’s younger and still has enough in him to make another run at the title. If you wait for the FA year, you run the risk of some other team offering Orlando a compelling deal, or that Dwight will choose to play elsewhere. Fact is, Kobe’s no spring chicken, Phil’s leaving after this year, and the Lakers are not going to be a sure bet to contend in the near future.

    If the lakers trade for him, they’re taking matters into their own hands and getting their guy sooner. Makes sense to me. The article is OPINION and speculation. Your first clue should have been the word “should” in the title, preceded by the speculator’s name.

    You’re advocating waiting a year for an older Kobe, no Phil, getting rid of Pau and or Odom and Artest…. So, Dwight will be surrounded by what, exactly? Stupid response. No offense.

    • loungefly74 - Feb 10, 2011 at 8:55 AM

      “You’re advocating waiting a year for an older Kobe, no Phil, getting rid of Pau and or Odom and Artest…. So, Dwight will be surrounded by what, exactly? Stupid response. No offense.”

      Thank you. I think “vikesdynasty” should stick with worrying about the T-Wolves…

  3. omniusprime - Feb 10, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    All this blather about trading Bynum is typical of sports media buffoons who don’t work for a living. Trading Bynum for Carmelo would guarantee that the Lakers don’t win a threepeat. Carmelo can score when he feels like playing but he plays no defense and that’s what wins championships and why Carmelo will never be a champ, just another overhyped underperforming chump.

    Waiting for a trade for Dwight Howard does have appeal for us Laker fans, but then again what has Howard accomplished in the playoffs except to lose baby lose. He didn’t fare so well two years ago in the NBA Finals while Bynum stepped up bigtime last year in the playoffs playing on a really bum knee.

    I’d rather stick with Bynum and hope that he finally can play a whole season. He’s really progressed this year and I can’t wait to see him crush opposing centers in this year’s playoffs like he did Perkins last year in the Finals. Bynum is willing to play defense over offense but the Lakers need to get him back to scoring more since he can be very efficient scoring in the paint. Kobe needs to get with getting Bynum involved more in the offense while Kobe stops trying to play hero ball which is why the Lakers have lost too many games this year.

    As long as the Lakers stay pat and get back Ratliff and Barnes back in the rotation there’s no doubt that the Repeat World Champion Lakers will Threepeat this June!

  4. florida727 - Feb 10, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    The one flaw in the argument is that you’re assuming the Magic would actually WANT Bynum. That’s an awfully big assumption…

    • Kurt Helin - Feb 10, 2011 at 2:44 PM

      The argument is not that they want Bynum so much as that Howard pulls a Carmelo and says he’s leaving and wants to go to X. If that happens — a big if, I’ll grant you — then Bynum is not the worst thing to get back. Way better than what Denver is about to get.

  5. vikesdynasty - Feb 10, 2011 at 10:45 PM

    my whole point is that why do you think the magic would actually trade howard for bynum? even if they think howard might walk i dont think they actually pull the trigger and trade him i think they would rather take a chance on keeping him than losing him because the magic have been in the championship hunt for years now which is a lot more than the nuggets can say which is why melo wants out more than anything…with that said i think the smartest thing for the lakers to do is to get carmelo now and get rid of bynum because who knows if he’ll be hurt again and then you’ll be out and have nothing to show for it…so then you have another superstar for the future who you could build around and add dwight when he’s a FA. and the only reason i said get rid of pau is because of cap room flexibilty if they can squeeze in kobe, melo, pau and dwight that would be just silly…

    if the lakers were to get melo and IF he could get accoladed to the lakers triangle i think they could just out score the opposition at will, or who knows maybe kobe and phil could get defense instilled in melo in a short time. if anyone could, its those two guys…and as far as the big they would be losing: maybe the lakers make a trade for a defensive center like a dalambert or someone…

    everything im saying is all speculation, its what i would do if i was gm and running a business…you have to look at every angle, sure you want to win a title this yr absolutely. but how about an injury prone guy that you could trade for a top 10 player in the league? (its like trading in a used bmw you love but its always broke down and you can trade it straight up for a bentley, who wouldnt do that?) and you know you have a great business draw that you could latch onto dwight through FA and be set for YEARS, heck yes im going to do those things without questions…its either that or be content for maybe and i mean maybe another 2 years of contention because after that your entire core is getting old and you’ll have to rebuild…if you opt for my side of things your set for 6-7 years straight

    now honestly i dont give a crap what happens to the lakers, im a fan of the nba, love my crappy twolves, love the bulls since mj’s days and like cinderella teams. anywho thats that so now you have my bio as well

    • loungefly74 - Feb 10, 2011 at 11:49 PM

      there is nothing wrong with speculating…you’re absolutely right.
      magic would trade howard for bynum IF howard made it known he didn’t want to stay.
      melo is good…but the kid can’t play defense. we all know defense is necessary. the lakers would take a dramatic step backwards defensively…they would be like the “run n’ gun” suns from a few years back…no championship.
      bynum matches up well with any center in the league…sure he does get hurt but he is young and the potential is too great. his presence was vital in last year’s title run.
      the lakers can already score. it’s not that i dislike melo, it’s just the lakers don’t need him. the lakers core is good for at least a few more years…my speculation is melo would not mesh with them. besides, he would want max $.
      all good vikesdynasty…don’t sweat the retaliation…i’ll make unpopular comments quite often as well and just brace for the flak. i think the worst one i did was predicting kevin durant was going to be a bust!

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