After last night’s debacle in Boston(quick homer note: Any season the Celts make the Lakers look like that is a good season), the Dwight Howard sweepstakes seems more and more possible by the day. The Lakers are now 23-27, and 3-2 on this road trip which is their fifth “start of their season”. While many people believe that Gasol could be the fall guy, it seems as though if Kobe gets his way(which is what happens in LA), Howard will be the player on the outs.
(High School pals could be on the move.)
But Howard isn’t the only superstar on the move in this hypothetical trade. Josh Smith has proven he is very unhappy in Atlanta as well, and it is well known that he has very little intentions of re-signing. Could this three-teamer between LA, Phoenix and Atlanta be a solution for all parties?
Why it works for Phoenix:
-Phoenix gets a star in Josh Smith, and it is more of a no-loss situation than you would think. If Josh Smith decides to resign in Phoenix, they have a franchise guy they can rebuild around. If he doesn’t resign, the Suns open themselves up for a large amount of cap to try and lock down acquisitions this year, and more importantly in the big free agency class in 2014. Unlike other bottom feeder teams, Phoenix has the warm weather to attract newcomers. They also get a young piece in John Jenkins who has taken advantage of the added playing time since the Lou Williams injury.
Why it works for Atlanta:
-Atlanta gets Howard in his hometown as a rental for the remainder of the year, and then can try and convince him to stay their long term. While one of his biggest pulls to Atlanta was originally Josh Smith, Howard has to look at the big picture and realize that Atlanta could contend with the right pieces. A nucleus of Howard, Horford(who has the athleticism to play at four) and an up and coming Jeff Teague is a pretty solid team in the Eastern Conference. More than half of the Hawks roster is on expiring deals, Dudley meanwhile, is an all-world locker room guy who will bring the type of attitude that Howard wants; laid back outside of games, intense inside of it. Plus, he’s a pretty solid wing player who could play either the two or three for them.
Why it Works for Los Angeles:
-The Lakers end the Howard saga, and show some kind of loyalty to Pau Gasol who could still help them if played in the right position. Gortat is a solid backup Center who could fill in right away while Pau is hurt, and is definitely looking for a new situation. While Channing Frye is out this year with an enlarged heart(we hope he’s recovering well), he reunites with the coach he thrived most with if he is able to come back. He spaces the floor better the any big man the Lakers have right now. While Lou Williams doesn’t necessarily fit into the Lakers starting lineup, he gives them some much needed scoring for the Lakers for the future.
Why it might not work:
-The Lakers aren’t getting back enough for this year. While Williams and Frye are solid pieces, neither will step on the floor again this year. If something like this is about to go down, you have to assume that the Lakers are cutting ties with this year. But with every game that Howard turns in like the one he turned in last night (9 points, 9 rebounds in 28 minutes before fouling out), his trade stock goes down. Maybe it is time to pull the plug and set yourself up for next year, which could be Kobe’s last in LA.