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Category: Dwight Howard

Lakers should offer Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol for Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard

With each day that passes without the Lakers securing any of the "big deals" General Manager Mitch Kupchak envisions, the less likely the purple & gold can win the NBA championship.

Heck, if the Lakers don't secure a big deal, it wouldn't be surprising if they fare even worse than last season's Western Conference semifinals sweep to the Dallas Mavericks. Both Lamar Odom's absence hurts the Lakers' front line and bolsters the defending champion's lineup. Andrew Bynum's five-game suspension forces the Lakers to slide Pau Gasol into center. And the Lakers are in a three-way competition between Josh McRoberts, Ron Artest and Luke Walton for the starting power-forward spot.

Yup, the Lakers are in trouble.

The Lakers need to pursue Dwight Howard, and the urgency remains strong. But with the Clippers acquiring New Orleans Hornets Chris Paul, L.A. has fewer opportunities to pursue "big deals," which has always been a code word for both Paul and Howard.

That's why the Lakers have to be willing to construct a trade packages using anyone on their roster except for Kobe Bryant. Landing Howard is so important that the Lakers need to be willing to both offer Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol to land Superman.

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Pau Gasol doubts Magic's claim it won't trade Dwight Howard

Amid the feeling of normalcy the Lakers try to instill in every practice can't overshadow everything surrounding it.

They're missing a key reserve in Lamar Odom. They just brought in free-agent forward Josh McRoberts. And Pau Gasol practices knowing very well that could be the last one wearing a Laker uniform.

Even with the Orlando Magic no longer accepting trade offers for center Dwight Howard, Gasol remains far from uneasy. He also doubts the news itself.

"You don't really know if that's accurate or not," Gasol said Wednesday at the Lakers' practice facility in El Segundo. "You don't know if they're just saying that. They're probably saying that to get a better offer and then pull the trigger."

Of course, Gasol doesn't want that to happen considering the Lakers might try to use him in a trade package for Howard. But Gasol's just being honest or he's trying to call the Magic's bluff so Gasol doesn't end up there. Gasol was just as honest regarding that he doesn't feel better that the NBA reportedly accepted the Clippers acquiring New Orleans Hornets Chris Paul for Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman and Al-Farouq Aminu.

"Those things are part of our job," Gasol said. "We understand and accept it. It's a lot harder when it affects you. But it is what it is. There's not much you can do much about it."

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Dwight Howard is no longer on trading block

Matt Barnes in contact with Dwight Howard on playing future

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Dwight Howard is no longer on trading block

Howard_640

The Lakers won't be getting Dwight Howard any time soon.

The Orlando Magic will no longer accept trade offers for the perennial All-Star center, according to a league source who was not authorized to speak publicly.

"Their goal is to keep him in a Magic uniform," said the source. "They don't feel like there's any decision they have to make right now."

The Lakers had been involved in trade talks with Orlando via Howard's agent for the better part of two weeks.

The Lakers continue to have talks with New Orleans despite having a trade vetoed by the NBA for the Hornets' All-Star guard last week.

Paul did not appear for interviews Wednesday at the team's annual media day.

News of Orlando's decision was first reported by Yahoo! Sports.

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Nets closing in on deal for Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard's relationship with Magic thaws slightly

Lakers make minor move, while staying in play for big deal

--Mike Bresnahan

Photo: Dwight Howard. Credit: John Raoux / Associated Press

Matt Barnes in contact with Dwight Howard on playing future

The courtship for Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard goes beyond the Lakers' front office, the New Jersey Nets or a late-night phone call from Orlando's former chairman.

It also remains at the grass-roots level, as Lakers forward Matt Barnes acknowledged at the Lakers' media day Sunday that he spoke to Howard last week about his playing future. Barnes, who played for the Magic during the 2009-10 season, still keeps in touch with Howard, and made it clear last week that Howard's told him he wants to play for the Lakers. But Barnes said at the Lakers' media day Sunday that he tempered his aggressiveness in convincing Howard to wear the purple & gold.

"He has a tough decision to make," Barnes said of Howard, who reportedly has demanded a trade to the New Jersey Nets. "There’s teams pulling at him every way. We have real talks more than anything about being a Laker. He has to do what's best for him and his family and what makes him happy."

Of course, what would make Barnes happy would involve Howard wearing a Laker uniform, especially with the uncertainty surrounding the team trading Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks for an $8.9-million trade exception without any clear intentions on the end goal. It remains unclear, however, whether the Lakers truly have enough to entice the Magic to trade Howard.

But for now, Barnes said he'll temper his pitches just so he doesn't come across as too overbearing. 

"He knows the opportunity he has here," Barnes said. "But with that said, it's not about what we want or the Lakers want or what I want. It's about what's best for him and his family." 

RELATED:

Kobe Bryant on Lamar Odom trade: "I don't like it."

Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard would mesh well together

Who would you be willing to give up to get Dwight Howard?

— Mark Medina

Email the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Lakers need to maintain focus regarding trades

Dwight Howard/Chris Paul

The trade talk surrounding Dwight Howard and Chris Paul will continue to evolve. But the Lakers' pursuit of them must remain the same.

That doesn't mean the tactics won't change. Sometimes they will have to increase their aggressiveness when it appears Howard or Paul could bolt to another team. Sometimes they will have to adopt patience when it's clear the Magic or Hornets are trying to pit the bidders against each other.

But the Lakers' interest in them shouldn't suddenly dwindle should no one immediately acquire them once training camp begins Friday. It's possible Howard and Paul could continually play for their respective teams for part of the season, much as the drama surrounding Carmelo Anthony last season unfolded. It'd be unwise, however, for the Lakers to suddenly feel OK with the current roster opening training camp.

Regardless of the players' insistence, it can't win the title with last year's team; the compressed 66-game schedule will immediately expose their basketball mileage. Addressing that through free-agency signings can only do so much, considering the Lakers are limited to the veteran's minimum ($1 million) and the mini-mid level exception (three years, $9 million). But trading some of their key parts, including Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum, as center pieces toward acquiring Howard and/or Paul would immediately rectify that.

But this is where it becomes a poker game. If the Lakers show their hand too early, the Magic and Hornets will try add as much baggage as they can in the deal, including Hedo Turkoglu (three years, $35 million) or Gilbert Arenas (three years, $62.4 million).

Despite the patience such a pursuit requires, however, the Lakers have to maintain their aggressiveness. Dropping the ball on this courtship could prove more consequential than any injury or potential game-winner falling short.

RELATED:

Lakers should value Dwight Howard more than Chris Paul

Chris Paul may be the answer

Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard would mesh well together

Who would you be willing to give up to get Dwight Howard?

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Dwight Howard, left, and Chris Paul can become free agents after this season, putting pressure on Orlando and New Orleans to get something in return before the perennial All-Stars walk away. Credits: Kim Klement / US Presswire, left; Bill Kostroun / Associated Press

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