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Report: Lakers may be willing to consider sign-and-trade for Howard

Jul 5, 2013, 2:27 AM EDT

Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

The Lakers ideally would like to re-sign Dwight Howard. It could happen. Howard is off in his hideaway in Aspen with his advisors around him trying to come to a decision, and by all accounts the Lakers pitch that turned into a “clear the air” kind of meeting with Mike D’Antoni, Kobe Bryant and Howard finally got everybody on the same page. The Lakers still have advantages —the lure of Los Angeles, cap space next year to rework the roster, and $30 million more guaranteed.

But if Howard decides to head to Houston or another market, the Lakers may be softening on their hardline opposition to a sign-and-trade with another team. That according to Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne at ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Yet, there were indications late Thursday that Lakers officials, already bracing for the worst, had begun to rethink their long-held position of ruling out sign-and-trade options in the event Howard decides to bolt to one of L.A.’s rivals.

One source briefed on the Lakers’ thinking told ESPN.com that, if the extra fifth year and nearly $30 million they can offer Howard isn’t enough to hold off the competition, they would be forced to “look at everything.”

The report also says the Lakers are increasingly pessimistic that Howard will re-sign with them.

Which means the Lakers may look at a deal, but it is going to have to blow their doors off. Letting him walk and banking the cap space has some advantages for Los Angeles.

The Lakers had the highest payroll in the NBA last season and under the new CBA Los Angeles will start to pay an additional repeater tax in 2015 if they don’t get their salary down. And the Lakers don’t want to increase their tax bill. Nobody does.

Which means the Lakers don’t want your long-term bad contracts, they want to rebuild and you need to give them pieces to do that.

The Lakers would be silly not to explore all their the options. It’s hard to say what the Lakers will do — as much as Howard and his decision making process is hard to predict, so have been the Lakers under Jim Buss.

  1. goraidersgospurs - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    just take your lost just like Philly did, No need to cry over spilled milk!!!

  2. mohammadanaqvi - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:40 AM

    if the lakers want a chance at winning NOW and they know that howard wants to leave, then a sign and trade is a pretty good option.

  3. adoombray - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    Jimmy “Fredo” Buss never wanted to trade Bynum in the first place. That was his pick and was the one thing he ever got right while his pops was still alive. After underachieving since being drafted, Bynum FINALLY was arguably a better player than Dwight in the season before he got traded (I feel like they were equals, with Bynum being a better scorer and Dwight being a better defender, but that’s an argument that could go either way). Dwight walks, Bynum’s wearing Laker gold next season, bank it. Wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t already a framework of a contract in place.

    • casualcommenter - Jul 5, 2013 at 3:17 AM

      I’m not a Dwight Howard fan at all, but last season, Dwight was willing to come back early from back surgery and play through a torn labrum in his shoulder.

      Meanwhile, Andrew Bynum reportedly sabotaged his knee rehab after a procedure last summer by bowling, then gained a lot of weight during the season which delayed his return, then ultimately had to have a second surgery since his rehab didn’t go well enough to avoid it.

      How anyone could prefer Bynum over Howard is beyond me. Howard has some questions about his maturity and durability. Bynum has no questions about his maturity and durability because the answers about both are clear – he’s immature and he has zero durability (just two “healthy” seasons as a starter in his ENTIRE career).

      • adoombray - Jul 5, 2013 at 3:34 AM

        Bynum took the year off knowing he was coming back to a bad Philly team that wasn’t going anywhere going into his free agency. People question his maturity, but Dwight is the living embodiment of immaturity with how he has handled his own free agency. If you call the question about Bynum’s maturity already answered, you can’t rationally argue that it’s not already answered for Dwight too.

        Bynum did the same thing Derrick Rose did, but instead of doing THE RETURN commercials some people caught him on their cell phones and he stupidly kept coming around the team. Meanwhile Dwight should have never re-upped with the Magic and rushing himself back from the injury proved that it’s smarter to rest and come back when ready by being the shell of the player he once was.

      • somekat - Jul 5, 2013 at 4:16 AM

        Wrong. If Bynum was on that roster, the sixers were as good as anyone in the east minus Miami. He and Holiday would of been ridiculous in the pick and roll, Thad young would of been a beast playing off of him, and guys like D Wright, N Young and Hawes would of been getting uncontested jumpers. They built their team around Bynum, never had him, and still won 34 games. To say they were going nowhere and he knew it is idiotic.

      • anhdazman - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:32 AM

        I was crying because that Laker fan still thinks Bynum is worth something. He actually thinks Bynum is coming back to LA to save the Lakers. That’s hilarious. As much of a prima donna DH12 is, he at least showed up and played games. Bynum was stealing money in Philly. If the Lakers want to get robbed, I’m sure Bynum would be happy to come back to take free money and sit on the side lines nursing his injuries.

    • wkl21 - Jul 5, 2013 at 4:54 AM

      Bynum? really? is Jim Buss that stupid? Bynum is a loser.

    • jacksonkane - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:54 AM

      Bynum has said he is motivated by the highest bidder. So I am not sure how the Lakers would even pull this off. They are no where in the ballpark of being able to afford the contract he wants.

  4. 32magicman - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:58 AM

    No chance they would take knock knees bynum back again! I hope they go with a sign and trade to GSW for bogut and k.thompson. If all fit, nash, thompson, bryant at small forward and the twin towers of gasol and bogut could make a good run at it. Let the dwightmare be over!!!

    • adoombray - Jul 5, 2013 at 3:26 AM

      Like taking a 1 year + team option contract flier on Bynums knees is any worse than taking a flier on Boguts ankles. That’s not a knock on Bogut, who I actually like a lot, who was the only guy playing defense on that Warriors team and was in on every defensive play they made this years playoffs. You can’t call Bynum and injury risk and seriously say Bogut is the guy who makes you feel better. You’re not getting Thompson back either. Laker fans need to stop this thing where when a guy leaves the team they want to pretend like he was never their boy. Bynum is a top 5, maybe even top 3 Center when healthy, and he’s a better fit for D’Antoni’s system than Dwight is. That’s exactly the argument Laker kids will make a week from now too.

      • zxrated - Jul 5, 2013 at 5:04 AM

        While Bogut has been an injury risk the last two seasons, he at least has 5 years playing 65 games or more. Bynum only has one season of 65 games played under his belt. Bogut is clearly a lower injury risk going forward.

      • j4db - Jul 5, 2013 at 5:34 AM

        Bynum wouldn’t sign a 1 year contract anyways because some team will be dumb enough to give him a multi-year deal. Maybe not a max contract, but definitely a multi-year deal. So if I were the Kupchak I would take no less than bogut, thompson AND barnes, or bogut, barnes and a 1st round pick next year. See how desperate the warriors are for dwight.

      • anhdazman - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:34 AM

        At least Bogut played some games last year. Bynum didn’t do jack diddly doodle. And you’re going to fork over 10+ million multi year contract on him?!

  5. casualcommenter - Jul 5, 2013 at 3:21 AM

    Nothing new about this report, really. The Lakers were always going to listen to sign-and-trade offers so long as the offers filled two criteria:

    1. It gave the Lakers cheap assets.
    2. It didn’t rob the Lakers of serious cap space in 2014.

    If an offers meets both standards, the Lakers will listen since it makes no sense not to. If word leaks that Howard doesn’t want to stay with the Lakers, there’s no way he can come back even if his new team fails to clear enough cap space to sign him. It would be a PR disaster. So if Dwight decides to leave, and the new team needs a sign-and-trade to make the math work, I’m sure the Lakers would be willing to facilitate it so long as they did REALLY well in the trade.

  6. ji8888 - Jul 5, 2013 at 4:09 AM

    Go home, Warriors. You’re drunk.

  7. curry4three - Jul 5, 2013 at 4:44 AM

    Sign and trade to the warriors? WHAT? And spilt up the splash brothers curry and Thompson? For what? A over rated always smiling while losing selfish 22% freethow shooter? Stay in la Howard warriors do not want you and your drama! !!!

    • jacksonkane - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:55 AM

      also the best center in the league and a tremendous defender, something the Warriors can only say they were in spurts last year.

      • anhdazman - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:49 AM

        Bogut more than half of the regular season. I’ll take my chances with our line up healthy and a year wiser. Bogut and Lee’s game will compliment each other. Both are excellent passers for big men which is perfect when we have Curry, Thompson, Barnes and Rush on the perimeter.

        DH12 would give plenty of benefits, but he’s not the best passing Center in the game. He’d bog down that part of GSW offense.

        Key will be resigning Jack. Getting quality minutes behind Bogut while Ezeli (another promising young center) rehabs his injury. That means Green and Barnes will get more minutes at PF and Lee slides over to Center. Still a chance that Biedrins can contribute in spurts. This is a deep team with a special bond with each other. I just hope management gives them more time to gel.

  8. mjhutmkr - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:21 AM

    Do a sign and trade with the Heat.

    Howard for Bosh.

  9. brookwell2013 - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:32 AM

    Unfortunately, the younger Buss seems to have little of the busines acumen of his father (may he rest in peace). D12 is clearly in a decline if you carefully examine his statistics even discounting the decline a bit to compensate for his injuries last year. I don’t think he is a bad person but he is just not a competitive force and a leader like Kobe or Lebron or Tim Duncan etc etc. He seems very immature to me and extremely thin skinned. My guess is he signs with Houston. Then the drama really starts for Laker fans….I think Mitch K leaves and there is just no way Jim Buss navigates a rebuild; he doesn’t have the talent to pull that off. Finally, the current coach has never won anything anywhere and just about everybody you talk to inside the NBA says the same thing about him: he doesn’t relate to his players at all and he is not well liked. The Dark Ages are about to begin for Laker Nation. How ironic that Doc is now across the hall.

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 5, 2013 at 10:05 AM

      I’m not a Dwight fan or a Laker fan. You said Dwight’s been in decline and to examine his stats carefully, so I looked them up and did that. You also said to allow for some decline last year due to his injuries.

      To me, to be in decline, one must show a least a downward trend in several stats, each year doesn’t have to be worse than the previous year, just a downward trend.

      Rebounding. Dwight’s career average is 12.9 a game.

      Last year 12.4 a game and this was with his injuries
      07/08 14.2 per game
      08/09 13.8 per game
      09/10 13.2 per game
      10/11 14.1 per game
      11/12 14.5 per game

      I don’t see a decline in his rebounding.

      Scoring per game. Dwight’s career average is 18.3 pts per game.

      Last year was 17.1 and this was with his injuries.
      07/08 20.7 pts a game
      08/09 20.6 pts a game
      09/10 18.3 pts a game
      10/11 22.9 pts a game
      11/12 20.6 pts a game

      Dwight has only averaged over 20 pts a game in 4 out his 9 NBA seasons. He did so in 4 out of his 5 previous seasons to last yr with his injuries. I’d say his scoring isn’t in decline based on this.

      Field goal percentage. To save time I’ll say that his FG% last yr with his injuries was above his career FG%. Dwight was 14th individually in FG% last yr, with his injuries. His FG% this past yr with his injuries was still higher than it was in two of his previous 4 seasons.

      Again, I’m not a Dwight fan. He is immature and I wouldn’t want him on my team. His stats haven’t really improved over the years. He is good, very good actually but his stats show that he hasn’t made improvements in his game. In looking at LeBron’s stats over the years, he’s made improvements in his game.

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 5, 2013 at 10:42 AM

        Excellent use of stats.

      • brookwell2013 - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:44 PM

        Here is the Bill Simmons article with all the stats on Dwight; this article was cited to me by several GM’s and they thought it was more than persuasive…remember, if someone max’s D12 (and they will) they will be paying him $20m plus for 5 years…..he will have been in the league for 14 years at the end of the contract. Way, way too much risk for me. Take a look at Simmons pice:

        http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9308573/searching-dwight-howard

    • anhdazman - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:51 AM

      I don’t think DH12 is on a decline yet. He has leveled out. Now he’s trying to get a big pay day as well as do a “Miami Heat quick Championship team together” These young athletes are spoiled and don’t know what it too to build a dynasty from where your team put it together piece by piece.

  10. gmsalpha - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:33 AM

    Somehow, I see Howard going to either Golden State or staying in Los Angeles. Either he stays put and there’s no drama, or he goes where nobody expects him to and it’s a real jaw-dropper. This whole Houston thing just doesn’t feel right to me.

  11. jamieaadams - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:56 AM

    It would be absolutely hilarious for Bynum to go back to L.A. Much better and bigger than this season’s implosion.

  12. beachsidejames - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    Everybodywants this guy and so far everywhere he’s been the team has never won anything. Roll player at best and can’t play at the end of any important game because he can’t hit a foul shot. One big expensive distraction that always has an excuse.

  13. drewzducks - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:23 AM

    I’m guessing those pathetic “Please Stay Dwight” banners will be used as a throw in to help sweeten any deal.

  14. vaphinfan - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    Sign in trade sounds pretty good for Lakers. You get something in return plus you get rid of the big baby.

  15. mrmet21 - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    Sign and trade proposal rite here. D12 for Chandler Stoudemire and Hardaway Jr plus draft picks. Dantoni loves stat chandler is your center who doesn’t need the ball and Hardaway is a young marksman who is cheap.

    • Kurt Helin - Jul 7, 2013 at 3:46 PM

      The Knicks are over the tax apron and cannot take a player back who has been signed and traded.

  16. biscuitneck - Jul 5, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Hi guys,

    Maybe I’m jumping in late….but why is it that Dwight Howard is such a big deal right now? I’m a bit perplexed. We ARE talking about the guy that was outplayed in the finals by Hedo, Rashard and Courtney, correct?

  17. fiyeaglesfiy - Jul 5, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    If Lakers do a sign and trade, they need to receive Bogut, Barnes, Thompson and picks. For those who think thats too much, see chris paul and carmelo anthony trades..that’s what it costs to acquire a superstar. lakers would get younger, deeper an maintain cap flexibility for 2014. Warriors would still be in good shape with only Howard, Curry, and Lee obligated under contract to go after another free agent and vet min guys or role players in 2014. Both teams win.

    • anhdazman - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      Bogut, Barnes, Thompson and picks. Hahahahah. This isn’t your Yahoo Fantasy Basketball league. GTFO!

    • bougin89 - Jul 5, 2013 at 1:51 PM

      And if the Twolves get Pau Gasol they need to receive at least Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, and picks. Laker fans like you crack me up…

    • bougin89 - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:02 PM

      On a serious note you cannot compare Howard’s situation to Paul or Anthony, at all. Howard controls his destiny now. Howard will only go to the Warriors if he chooses to. The Lakers only have so much leverage on sign and trades. The leverage they possess over the Warriors is the Warriors need the Lakers to accept a trade to make the trade work for salary cap purposes. The Warriors won’t give the farm to get Howard though, no dice.

  18. teambringitstrong - Jul 5, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Please just go, Dwight. Whether it’s GSW, HOU or DAL or the South Pole, just go.
    You don’t have the spine to play in LA and I’m not sure why the LAL are all up in arms about this. Signing with GSW will only serve to stroke the Bay Area’s inferiority complex with all things LA. You know as well as I do that Mark Jackson will bolt GSW at the first opportunity and return to broadcasting and his church, which is in LA, btw.

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 5, 2013 at 10:47 AM

      San Francisco never had, nor will it ever have, an inferiority complex to NY on the west coast. Keep your smog, your traffic jams, and your lack of professional football! Smell-A: little red light on a highway, little green light on a speedway, hey-HEY!

  19. loubearkane - Jul 5, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    I think Howard ends up with GSW probably with some sort of sign & trade but what has Daryl Morey done to HOU. They landed Harden which was genius but then guts the team to try and land Howard. In two years you have a unhappy Harden that wants out because you gutted the team!!!!

    • bougin89 - Jul 5, 2013 at 2:06 PM

      Gutted the team? Harden, Parsons, Asik, Lin, Beverly, Jones, White(big ? with him but at the time that draft pick was praised)etc… This team is filled with young talent. They are an up and coming team with plenty of Cap flexibility to make moves. They are in a position to get better and they are already a really young team that made the playoffs in the West.

  20. jschwanny - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Combine this report that the Lakers are willing to do a sign and trade and the fact that the Bucks have yet to close on the deal with O.J. Mayo when it seemed like a sure thing on Wednesday. Could a three team sign/trade deal between the Lakers, Mavs, and Bucks be in the works? The Bucks have the cap space to take on some contracts and get the guy they want (Mayo) and maybe a draft pick in the process, LA gets some picks or expiring contracts in return for Dwight (which is better than nothing), and Howard goes to Dallas and gets his max deal with no state taxes. Pure speculation.

  21. wsuperman4445 - Jul 7, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Wow! has it been a year already? it just seems like just Yesterday we ( I am a Magic Fan) were being laughed at and teased for not being able to hold on to Dwight, him running off to the lakers and the Laker Fans tell us how they will hold on to Dwight and make him a winner, big city big lights hollywood, Product endorsements little market(Orlando I am presuming) verses big market(LA) well it seems that the Dwightmare Train has again left the big market station and 30 million on the table, “all aboard, Next stop Houston,.. well laker Fans hows that plan working out for ya? ( last laugh Orlando )
    P.S want to bring back Bynum? but that’s another train Wreck in Progress

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