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Report: Bynum extension in Cleveland shows challenges of Howard trade

Jul 19, 2012, 8:42 PM EDT

Dwight Howard AP

On one hand this is not new news — everyone involved knew Cleveland would not trade for Andrew Bynum as part of a three-team deal that sends Dwight Howard to the Lakers unless Bynum was willing to commit long term.

And he might, in the past Cleveland was one of the three teams on a list of where he wants to land (Houston and Dallas were the others outside Los Angeles). While saying you would do it in the abstract and putting a pen to paper on a contract are very different things, there is at least a conversation to be had.

But a story by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo highlights why this trade is not just going to snap together overnight.

“Cleveland will only do the deal if Bynum extends,” a league official directly involved in the talks told Yahoo! Sports.

Los Angeles wants the structure of a three-team deal agreed in principle before letting Cleveland take that next step to communicate with Bynum and his representatives – and that won’t happen until Orlando makes a decision that it wants to also lock-in the framework of a trade, sources told Y!

So far, Orlando has shown a level of indecisiveness in the talks, sources involved in the negotiations said.

The deal as it stands now would send Howard to the Lakers, Bynum to the Cavaliers, and Anderson Varejao plus multiple picks to Orlando. But Orlando also wants to get rid of ugly contracts like Jason Richardson and/or Hedo Turkoglu and where they land add to the challenges.

Right now, it all comes back to Orlando and what they want. They are trying to create leverage and a bidding war, to get more picks or unload more contracts. They are being patient, playing hard to get. But you can hear the frustration with that strategy in leaks coming from people close to Howard or in Cleveland — the sides that want the deal done most of all. They are frustrated with what they see as a moving goal line in the same way Brooklyn was before.

Houston is still in the mix with picks, young players and the ability to take on salary. They would do it even to rent Dwight Howard. And it is becoming more and more clear what Orlando wants to do is blow the whole thing up and rebuild through the draft (remember new Magic GM Rob Hennigan came out of the Oklahoma City organization, where building through the draft was is prized).

So we sit and wait for Orlando to make a move, then for Cleveland to see if it can convince Andrew Bynum to stay and play with Kyrie Irving.

The Lakers still like Bynum as part of their roster and if this drags on too long they may start talking to him about him staying with them long term instead. Los Angeles may move on.

  1. jshipolito - Jul 19, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Same crap, different day.

  2. luckysunday20 - Jul 19, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    “The Lakers still like Bynum as part of their roster and if this drags on too long they may start talking to him about him staying with them long term instead. Los Angeles may move on.”

    And when that happens Orlando’s leverage over Houston evaporates even further. They really need to make a push on both the LA/CLE deal and the Houston deal this weekend and maybe call up ATL again. No CP3 type package is going to fall out the sky for the magic at this point seeing how toxic Dwight can be.

  3. joshm5683 - Jul 19, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Does Cleveland want him to sign now, or a promise he’ll re-sign in the summer? It makes no sense for Bynum to sign anything now with any team. It makes so much more sense in terms of years and raises for him to wait till the off-season. If I was Cleveland or Houston though, I’d think of Bynum and his injury history…….is that guy really going to turn down a year and guaranteed 25-30 million just to go somewhere else? I doubt it.

  4. blakegriffin32 - Jul 19, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    I dont get why Orlando doesn’t just do a straight up trade with Houston… Who cares what Howard wants. Houston is willing to try it without a commitment. I ser nothing stopping them.

    • tsi431 - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:12 PM

      Because if Houston gets Howard they will be a pretty good team and end up with high draft picks (25-30 range), thus making there #1’s useless to the Magic, especially if Howard resigns with them.

      • joshm5683 - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:41 PM

        The one thing that really is in Houston’s favor is they have that Toronto 1st round pick that should be pretty high.

      • gmsalpha - Jul 19, 2012 at 10:29 PM

        Houston is not going to be very good, even with Howard. They drafted 3 players late in the 1st round who may or may not be any good, amnestied Luis Scola and traded Dalembert, and in my opinion, Jeremy Lin is not the next great NBA guard.

        You think the Rockets are going to be better than the Lakers? Better than the Nets with their *ahem* Fab Four? Maybe you can get picks from Cleveland, but if by some chance Bynum ends up a Cavalier to play with Kyrie Irving, I’m pretty sure they’re going to want to hang on to the better of those picks to help build a contender.

      • ludachrisgsx - Jul 20, 2012 at 12:33 PM

        Houston probably wouldn’t be as good as Cleveland with as much as they’ve traded away. They’ve blown up their team. Clevelands draft picks and Varejao as a trading piece would likely return more overall for Orlando.

        In my opinion, Orlando is poised to shoot themselves in the foot for trying to get too much. They already lost the Nets, and if they keep this up they’ll lose the Lakers, and then Houston will be the only team left and they’ll have all the leverage over Orlando. The more greedy they become playing this leverage game, the better the chances that it’s all going to blow up in their face and they’ll get half of what they could get by wrapping this up now.

        Worse, if they don’t get it done before the season starts they’re going to be the laughing stock of the league and will run the risk of getting nothing PLUS dealing with the circus and a toxic locker room.

        If this isn’t wrapped up by Tuesday, Orlando loses out.

    • luckysunday20 - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:40 PM

      The problem could very well be with what Houston is really offering vs what has been reported. My guess is Houston has no interest in the bad contracts seeing as they’ll most likely want to try and sign another star to help convince D12 to stay next off-season.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:57 PM

        Exactly. People confused Houston’s ability to take back a lot of bad ink and horde of young players/draft picks with their willingness to cash in every one of those assets for Howard.

  5. gmsalpha - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Orlando should have done the Houston deal. They’re the only ones who can take on the salaries that the Magic desperately want to dump. Unloading Jason Richardson alone is not going to cut it, and even with Howard, the Rockets are not going to be very good, which sends draft picks worth having Orlando’s way.

    I’m impressed with how Rob Hennigan has kept quiet. The “leaks” that are floating about are not coming from the Magic camp, and the more time that passes, the better deal I think Orlando will get. The Nets were never a serious option for the Magic. It’s just where Howard wanted to go, so being out of the picture doesn’t change anything.

    • ludachrisgsx - Jul 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM

      I doubt the Rockets are willing to take on what Orlando wants to get rid of – why do they want to be what Orlando is trying to get away from? Everyone thinks Houston is willing to take everything Orlando wants to get rid of. Why would Howard want to stick around Houston in the same situation he’s in now after next season? Houston knows they need to show promise and be in a position to surround him with more than what Orlando did, and taking bad contracts back won’t allow them to do that.

  6. hoodheisman - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    Kurt your arguments against Howard coming to LA are getting weaker and weaker. Presumably because this deal is gaining more and more momentum. It now looks like both LA and Cleveland are on board. Orlando doesn’t have much leverage left because a package involving Bynum to somebody is the best they are going to get. Whether it’s Cleveland or Houston, the end result is the same. Howard is a Laker and the middle man gets Bynum.

    • luckysunday20 - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:14 PM

      Exactly assets from an extension promising Bynum would be the best package at this point seeing as the Rockets are the only team willing to take the risk to trade straight up for D12 and they know it.

      At this point the Rockets could just wait out the Lakers pursuit and play hard ball with Orlando and any other team that wants him and has cap space could make a run during FA.

    • monkeyhateclean - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:25 PM

      Why would ORL want a major downgrade at C in the mediocre Varejao + draft picks? How about ALL of LA’s and CLE’s draft picks until Dwight Howard retires? Either that, or hold Dwight hostage until the trade deadline. There will be better offers to be had for the best center of the last 10 years.

      • luckysunday20 - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:33 PM

        They aren’t getting just Varejo + Picks they’d be getting cap room to by trading off all the bad contracts. As good as Dwight is you can’t get a Allstar player Lottery picks and cap room in return for a malcontent player who can walk away in FA.

        Also why do you assume better deal will be available at the deadline? Who is honestly going to give up significant assets for a possible half yr rental? And if any team had good assets and cap room to absorb the magics bad contracts at mid-season why not just make a run at him in FA?

      • daerian - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:37 PM

        Orlando DOESN’T want Wild Thing. They want to flip him. The Cavs have received offers up to and including first round (non-lottery) picks for him. If V ends up in Orlando, it won’t be for long.

        Plus, seriously, don’t act like Anderson is a POS. He’s one of the most underrated players in the NBA, and every team would love to have him (for the right price). As a Cavs fan, I’d hate to see him go. I’d do the deal, no doubt, but it’d be bittersweet.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:49 PM

        Well for one, you can only trade picks seven years out. Two, you can’t leave yourself without a first-round pick in consecutive years. Three, the Lakers traded their firsts in 2013 and 2015 to the Suns for Steve Nash, meaning they could only send firsts in 2017 and 2019. That’s next to worthless. Cleveland has tons of picks, but are they really going to give up a lot of good picks, Varejao AND take back multiple bad contracts to get Bynum? He’s good, but not worth all that. And Varejao isn’t worthless. He’s actually a good, versatile defender. The problem is he’ll be thirty when the season starts and makes almost no sense on a Magic team that’s being blown up and won’t contend again while he’s still under contract. This is the issue with any of the three-way trades involving the Lakers, really. Going from Bynum to Howard is a significant upgrade, but the Lakers seem to want giving up Bynum to be the sum total of their contribution to any Howard trade. It would be incumbent upon the team getting Bynum to provide Orlando with all of the salary relief and draft picks for Howard. Orlando is going to want more value for giving up Howard than Houston or Cleveland is likely to want to surrender for acquiring Bynum.

      • adfranco - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:13 AM

        Best center of the last 10 years? That’s pretty impressive considering Howard has only been in the league for 8 years…

  7. kwf1224 - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    Wow, Andrew wants to leave the Lakers.

  8. dbick - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    How is this deal any better than what they were getting from the nets? They still get a bunch of crappy draft picks and an ok player, only this time its Verejao instead of Lopez. Do the Magic have any idea what they are doing?

    • Kevin S. - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:52 PM

      It’s not. While Hennigan was blustering about “arbitrary deadlines” trying to drum up better offers, he seemed to not realize that once the Nets had to actually sign their guys and move on that the rest of Dwight’s suitors wouldn’t have Brooklyn upping the ante. He was thrown into a crappy situation, but he hasn’t handled it well at all.

      • luckysunday20 - Jul 19, 2012 at 10:15 PM

        He has not handled it well at all I’m no GM but it seems like he should have leveraged HOU LA and BK against each other and went with the strongest offer asap. Instead Hennigan thought he could “improve” other teams offers by waiting out BK’s interest/feasibility so in turn Dwight would back of his BK only stance expect now they’re in the same situation with a LA only and one less suitor to leverage against HOU and LA.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 19, 2012 at 10:23 PM

        Yeah, I don’t understand why everybody assumed once Brooklyn was tabled until January Howard would fold and agree to extend elsewhere. Why would he give up free agency again to go somewhere he doesn’t want to go?

  9. BigBeachBall - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    interesting how shaq was booted after winning 3 titles with kobe and now Bynum will be gone shortly with 2 titles with kobe…. pattern starting to develop….

    • kerby720 - Jul 19, 2012 at 10:41 PM

      Interesting you say that. While yes, it may seem like there may be a pattern developing, the circumstances are totally different.

      First off, Shaq and Kobe didn’t really get along and Kobe basically made management choose between him and Shaq in who they wanted to be the “alpha dog.” They were coming off winning a title, and there was no reason for them to trade away Shaq, other than to appease Kobe. When they traded Shaq, they weren’t getting an upgrade. They got good pieces, but in no way was it an upgrade.

      With Bynum, there really isn’t any bad blood between him and Kobe. There may have been disagreements, but I haven’t heard anything about Kobe wanting them to ship Bynum out. What the Lakers front office is trying to do with this Bynum trade is upgrade in order to give themselves a better opportunity to get back to the Finals and win. Sure they’re pushing hard to get Howard, but that’s because at this point Howard gives them a better opportunity to win championships. If the deal does not happen, for whatever reason, it’s no big deal. The Lakers can roll with this lineup and still may be in contention come June. The only animosity I is with Bynum and the front office. With all this talk about him possibly being moved to Orlando, or to Houston, or to Cleveland. It wouldn’t surprise me if Bynum was bothered.

      However, in no way does that have to do with Kobe. In fact, part of the reason Kobe hasn’t reached out to Dwight, could be because of his loyalty to Bynum. So your point about a pattern developing, I don’t see it.

      • narlo00 - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:00 AM

        I agree with most of what you said except one thing. A few years ago there was the infamous rant from Kobe on a cell phone saying Laker management to “ship out” Bynum for Jason Kidd when he played for the Nets.

      • ludachrisgsx - Jul 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM

        You’re forgetting how much money Shaq wanted from Buss for his upcoming deal. Buss didn’t want to pay an overweight, over 30 Shaq $30+ million a year as he began to decline. Everyone says it was all Kobe’s fault, when it had a LOT to do with money and Shaq’s inability to stay in shape the last couple of years he was on the team. Notice how much he slimmed down when he started the season in Miami? If he had that same attitude and desire in LA, maybe Buss would have wanted to pay him what he was asking… maybe.

        And actually, Shaq was traded after they lost in the Finals, they did not just win a title. But you are right about Kobe not pushing for Howard, he certainly doesn’t want to upset Bynum’s fragile ego by endorsing a Howard trade if it doesn’t work out and Bynum is still suiting up as his teammate in a few months. That would be the second time and Bynum would be moping around all season, sitting out every team huddle.

  10. tampajoey - Jul 19, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    I’m glad Anderson Varejao is getting a lot of love from NBA fans on the message boards regarding this trade. The dude in a constant 100% effort guy every play, every day. He’s a rebounding monster, serviceable around the rim on offense and has developed a solid mid-range jumper. And he’s solid on defense. Plus he’s a total class act.

  11. monkeyhateclean - Jul 19, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    Kevin S. – Jul 19, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Well for one, you can only trade picks seven years out. Two, you can’t leave yourself without a first-round pick in consecutive years. Three, the Lakers traded their firsts in 2013 and 2015 to the Suns for Steve Nash, meaning they could only send firsts in 2017 and 2019. That’s next to worthless. Cleveland has tons of picks, but are they really going to give up a lot of good picks, Varejao AND take back multiple bad contracts to get Bynum? He’s good, but not worth all that. And Varejao isn’t worthless. He’s actually a good, versatile defender. The problem is he’ll be thirty when the season starts and makes almost no sense on a Magic team that’s being blown up and won’t contend again while he’s still under contract. This is the issue with any of the three-way trades involving the Lakers, really. Going from Bynum to Howard is a significant upgrade, but the Lakers seem to want giving up Bynum to be the sum total of their contribution to any Howard trade. It would be incumbent upon the team getting Bynum to provide Orlando with all of the salary relief and draft picks for Howard. Orlando is going to want more value for giving up Howard than Houston or Cleveland is likely to want to surrender for acquiring Bynum.

    _________________________

    Don’t really disagree with much here. I didn’t call Varejao worthless. He’s a 10/10 guy, who can defend a little. That’s by no means bad, but being not bad doesn’t make him good. I rank him a middle of the pack center, and poor compensation for Dwight + picks of dubious worth.

    Good call on the picks in perpetuity, though I was obviously joking with that. MJ in his prime still wouldn’t be worth the 1st round picks of 2 different teams until he retired.

    Good call on the talent breakdown, too. Dwight >> Bynum, and the Lakers are not the destination they used to be. Neither Kobe nor Nash will ever be the players the used to be. When ORL finally deals Dwight, they are officially hitting the reset button HARD, so any deal better include dumping the horrible Turk contract and a plethora of picks that they can use to restock on affordable talent.

    • ludachrisgsx - Jul 20, 2012 at 12:59 PM

      What was so great about LA when Shaq chose to go there? Who was he so excited to team up with on that roster? It’s not the players on the roster at the time that make the team an attractive destination for big name free agents, it’s the history of the organization and their willingness to do whatever it takes to try and win. Players know they will spend money and not be scared to go over the cap to build a winning team, and they’ve proven this for quite a while, which is what makes them attractive.

      LA is probably at least as good, if not a better destination than Brooklyn if Howard wants to be surrounded with a good supporting cast. If Dwight gets traded there, he’ll stay long term and they’ll make moves to keep him in contention. He knows this.

  12. lakerluver - Jul 19, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    @BIGBEACHBALL, the only pattern I see developing is the LAKERS AND KOBE winning two or three more titles before he retires!!! I know you haters are shaking in your boots over the possibility of this deal going down!! Hahaha, I love it!!!!!

  13. atondatrack - Jul 19, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    This trade will not happen as a Cleveland fan I love it, but reality is that Bynum will not resign with Cleveland and cavs won’t trade for him without extension in advance. Also Orlando will not pull the trigger on this deal. Houston deal is much better.

  14. magicbucs - Jul 20, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    @ luckysunday20

    Exactly, you’re no GM so don’t criticize. Henni is doing the right thing. He’s got 3 teams to work with and he’s being patient for a reason. Which is the best deal available for the franchise, not Dwight Howard and certainly not you.

    Rob Hennigan worked for the spurs for 4 years and OKC the next 4 years after that. 8 years as a scout and GM asst. For 2 franchises that know how to draft the right players. he knows what he’s doing bro…

    • bougin89 - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      Hennigan has not handled this very well at all. At this point he’s not going to get a stronger offer by waiting even longer and if he waits until the Lakers sign an extension with Bynum he will lose almost all leverage against Houston.

      Currently their appears to only be 2 viable landing spots for Howard unless the Magic are going to take Brook Lopez and his 4 year, 60 million dollar contract(which they already passed on) and the clock is ticking on the Lakers to pull out as well.

      If they end up trading Dwight to Houston why didn’t they do it before the draft for all of their first round picks and salary dump?

      • kerby720 - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:15 AM

        The reason why they haven’t made the trade with Houston yet is because Houston is not offering to trade as much as was being reported in the media. Also, Houston isn’t looking to pick up all the bad contracts that the Magic wanted to dump. Especially now, with the Rockets signing Lin and Asik, they have even less room.

        As previously reported, Houston was supposedly willing to deal Lamb, Jones, White, Patterson, Parsons, and multiple future 1st rounders. That’s just not the case. Houston was willing to trade a few of those guys, but not all of them. That’s why that deal has not happened yet. I don’t think it will happen unless Houston softens their stance.

      • ludachrisgsx - Jul 20, 2012 at 1:05 PM

        And why would Houston want to be in the same situation Orlando is in now going forward? With no way to surround Dwight with good players because of the bad contracts and no draft picks? It wouldn’t make sense for them to soften their stance.

    • gmsalpha - Jul 20, 2012 at 1:32 PM

      I’m with you on that. Not sure why you got so many thumbs down. There’s nothing wrong with Rob Hennigan passing on really bad offers. The Nets’ in particular. Having them out of the running doesn’t change anything because it’s not a serious option, and anyone with half a brain would realize that.

  15. imforbigblue - Jul 20, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    I’m going to laugh when Orlando waits so long that they end up with nothing or have to settle for chump change In a trade

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