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Hypothetical: What if the Lakers were able to team Dwight Howard with Andrew Bynum?

Feb 4, 2012, 6:00 PM EDT

Andrew-Bynum-and-Dwight-Howard-806-306x248 AP


Despite assertions to the contrary, the Lakers remain firmly on Howard’s list of three teams he’s asked to be traded to, along with the Nets and Mavericks, multiple people familiar with the situation said. The Lakers’ clear preference is to trade Pau Gasol in a Howard deal and not Andrew Bynum, who was elected as an All-Star starter for the first time this week.

via Postups: Recent coach changes may foreshadow ouster of some GMs – NBA – News, Scores, Stats, Fantasy Advice.

So take a walk with me down hypothetical lane.

Let’s set up a series of possibilities:

  • Let’s say that Dwight Howard realizes Brooklyn is cold, that the Nets will have to surrender any semblance of talent they may have just to get him in trade outside of Deron Williams, and that he could wind up with Shawne Williams as his third best player.  The Nets still have to be considered the leaders for Howard, but let’s say they don’t land him.
  • Let’s say that the Lakers don’t ride their success out and decide to go for the home run.
  • Let’s also say they manage to get a deal done with Houston (you know, kind of like the one they already had done for an All-Star) to send Orlando the veterans they reportedly want instead of young players. They send out Pau Gasol and whatever else and don’t have to give up Bynum.
  • Let’s say they don’t immediately then swap out Bynum for Deron Williams which would be the next logical step given the abject panic that would result from the Nets. (Again, this is unlikely to happen, Nets fans, we’re focusing on a Lakers scenario here.)

What if the Lakers paired Bynum with Howard?

This is, naturally, insane. You don’t commit $30 million-plus to two centers. Their skill-sets overlap. It’s just beyond crazy. You’re talking about $60 million-plus being committed to three players down the line when the luxury tax goes bazooka.

The negatives are obvious. Who guards out in space against stretch fours? Can Howard cover in space that well? Wouldn’t teams just slot in a versatile oversized three at the four and bomb away? I mean, who’s guarding Ryan Anderson on that lineup?

But the, I mean. Come on. Who’s scoring in the paint versus that team? Two seven-foot centers with freakish athleticism? There would be no rebounds. There would be no shots in the paint. There would be nothing but an all-consuming maw down low. If the Lakers struggled to defend smaller lineups, smaller lineups would have no ability whatsoever to defend those twin towers. As long as there’s a competent swing man to facilitate a pass from one or the other out of a double team to the other one, you’re looking at a pretty unstoppable set.

Naturally, Kobe Bryant could have issues with this. Where are the shots going to come from?

There are a number of flawed ideas with this, but it is tantalizing. Lakers owner Jim Buss gets to keep his precious commodity in Bynum. The Lakers get the two best centers in the league. They overwhelm with size, and Kobe Bryant is set up for that sixth title. It fits well with Mike Brown’s offense. It’s too crazy to work, but it’s amazing to think about.

The reality is that the Lakers won’t get Howard without giving up Bynum, and if they do manage to, they’ll have to move Bynum to return scoring help. That’s how much this Howard situation can shift the league.


  1. charlutes - Feb 4, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Can someone please explain to me why Howard wouldn’t just say, sorry Orlando but I’m probably just going to sign with whoever I want in the offseason and you get nothing. That way the team I go to doesn’t have to give up anything.

    • yanivvinay - Feb 4, 2012 at 6:30 PM

      Because contending teams do not have the cap space to sign him outright. And orlando could still find a partner in the rent a howard sweepstakes. Either way, Orlando will get something for him, even if its to banish him to toronto or something for the second half of the season for a pack of smokes just to spite him.

  2. cinnalocks - Feb 4, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Why is there all this dumb stuff about getting rid of Bynum? He is an All-Star. All they have to do is get him the ball. Howard for Bynum why? Gasol for Williams why? Gasol is also an All Star. If they get Sessions, why bother with Williams. He is young, fast and all the Lakers need. Next year they can dump some salaries, ie Walton and the like and have some room to make some moves.

    • mytthor - Feb 5, 2012 at 12:15 AM

      Because Williams is also an all star, and one who would fit with the Lakers offense much better than Gasol.

      • cinnalocks - Feb 6, 2012 at 1:26 PM

        That makes no sense……in the meantime the Lakers won two Championships with Gasol… and Williams has won what….. none. I am not saying they do not want Williams but for Gasol or Bynum is an error. If they get Sessions that would solve a lot of ills and not be nearly as costly as losing one of the Twin Towers. No one in the league can boast of such an effective one two big man punch. What would the Lakers do if either Gasol or Bynum go down especially in such a short and tight season?, They would only have one effective big, Kobe, Williams and NO BENCH…….That will not take them very far.

  3. dspohn55 - Feb 4, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Screw Dwight. He’s quitting on a franchise that’s been very good to him, for no good reason.

    • mytthor - Feb 5, 2012 at 12:53 AM

      He isn’t quitting on them. He’s leaving because their GM’s an idiot.

      Howard made that franchise relevant again, and Smith has absolutely trashed the roster. Every good move he’s made has been offset by a horrible one, often with the same player. Signed Bass? Well let’s trade him for a worse player who makes more money in Big Baby Davis. Matched the offer for Gortat? Well let’s move him and Vince Carter for a declining Jason Richardson and Earl Clark. Didn’t want to overpay for Turkoglu? Well great, now we can give up assets to get him back on the same contract we didn’t want to sign in the first place!

      Superstar players like Dwight Howard bring in WAY more money for their respective franchises than they get paid. So they’ve been good to him? Not as good as he’s been for them. And quitting? 25 points, 15 boards, 2 blocks? Yeah, sure is mailing it in, isn’t he?

  4. lemfax - Feb 4, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    And why lakers? This story is too much for them. That’s enough! Bring Dwight to any team except LAKERS & Boston & Miami. Common, NBA is not Kobe, it’s not lakers. it is composed of 32 deserving team…

  5. thatboi901 - Feb 4, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Do you really think Dwight couldn’t guard Ryan Anderson or any other stretch four?? Worse case scenario is that he guards them better than Pau Gasol.

  6. nightrain42 - Feb 4, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    No, no, no. Dumb idea, dumb article. Remember the Shaq/elden Campbell fiasco? And Campbell was more athletic than Bynum.

    • mytthor - Feb 5, 2012 at 12:14 AM


      Wait you were serious?

      The only thing Elden Campbell was better at than Bynum was putting his hands on his hips and looking at the ref like a disapproving stepmother when he got called for a foul.

    • c0achdesigns - Feb 8, 2012 at 1:48 AM

      LOL. Elden Campbell?

      Bynum is even a better all-around player than dwight howard. D.Howard is just a fantasy guy. Andrew plays like a big man should. D.Howard is kid who loves candies. No determination whatsoever.

  7. mytthor - Feb 5, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    For the record, I don’t think there’s any way this happens. More likely Bynum for Howard then they look to possibly move gasol for some more help, not the other way around.

    But if for some reason they do end up on the same team, is there any reason the Lakers don’t switch to the most deadly 3-2 zone in history?

  8. nightrain42 - Feb 5, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Elden jumped higher and ran faster that Andrew. Better athlete

    • mytthor - Feb 5, 2012 at 2:53 AM

      There is not a chance in hell that Elden Campbell had a higher vertical than Andrew Bynum.

      • cinnalocks - Feb 6, 2012 at 1:36 PM

        Based on what….Bynum has longer arms and keeps the ball up higher so there is less space to get to the rim. He gets two inches off the floor. Eldon held the ball at shoulder height and got up off the floor to dunk it. Eldon was the better leaper by far. Bynum is a better player with a much higher upside. And Eldon ran the floor better…..Bynum lopes up and down the floor.

      • mightyquinn69 - Feb 28, 2012 at 5:11 PM

        I totally agree..Elden Campbell had serious hops!

    • geo59 - Feb 6, 2012 at 3:34 PM

      You’re right Mrs. Campbell. Your son was a better player and athlete than Andrew. I expect to hear any day about Elden’s induction into the hall of fame.

  9. passerby23 - Feb 5, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    Why are the writers at PBT obsessed with this story? How many things are wrong with entertaining this scenario?

    1. The Lakers are going to have to give up a lot more than Pau Gasol for Howard. And what do they have to offer? Nothing of value if they plan on keeping Kobe and Bynum!

    2. Let’s say they pull it off. Howard and Bynum on the floor together is a complete disaster. Stretch fours will take them outside. They will pick up cheap fouls trying to guard perimeter-oriented bigs who blow by them, i.e. Dirk, Randolph, Aldridge, Beasley, Love, etc. You can bet teams will continually iso them.

    Worse than that is finding chemistry offensively with two big centres. You have to play high-low, you have make some mid-range jump shots. You can’t both camp out in the lane and demand the ball. You can say the Lakers do this now with two bigs, but Gasol is a totally different player. Howard is a low block, back-to-the-basket player only. As is Bynum.

    3. Why would Orlando make such a deal when they clearly have more attractive offers elsewhere? The Bulls can give them more. The Mavs can offer decent players with expiring deals that Orlando can use to rebuild with. The Nets can offer more.

    People talk about these fantasy deals with no context of reality whatsoever.

  10. cluelessdufus - Feb 5, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    I don’t think that would be best but if they do the lakers are gonna give up a 1st rounder or so or world peace, walton,2nd round pick

  11. c0achdesigns - Feb 8, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    honestly, the way bynum is playing right now,. there would be no difference. maybe a little improvement defensively.Opponent’s point will go down 2-3 points. But offensively, opponent’s point will still end up higher than the lakers.
    Centers are not the issue for the Lakers. The actors always come to show, day in and day out. but the doubt is on the supporting cast and maybe the producers and directors running the show.:-)

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