Report: Howard-for-Bynum Trade Talks May Be On “Back Burner”

As being reported by Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner of the LA Times, it appears that the trade talks that have included sending Lakers center Andrew Bynum to Orlando for Dwight Howard haven’t been discussed in “a while.”

The Lakers and Orlando haven’t had trade talks in “a while,” according to a person familiar with the teams’ thinking, putting a damper on proponents of a Bynum-for-Howard deal.

The trade deadline isn’t until March 15, but for now there’s no momentum on a deal between the Lakers and Magic.

Kobe Bryant has had at least one in-depth phone conversation with Howard recently, even discussing how Howard might fit in with the Lakers’ scheme.

One person with knowledge of the conversation said Howard came away feeling as if he wouldn’t be the Lakers’ top option, for obvious reasons. It’s Bryant’s team.

Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner – LA Times

It’s highly unlikely that the Lakers would take themselves out of the running for Howard come the March 15 trade deadline, but for now, Nets fans can rest easy knowing that it appears a trade to the Lakers isn’t happening anytime soon. It’s known that Howard’s four preferred destinations are New Jersey/Brooklyn, Dallas and the two teams from Los Angeles.

The biggest takeaway here is the report that Howard and Bryant have spoken regarding a trade to the Lakers. It’s been thought that one of the reasons the Lakers have fallen off Howard’s destination list was a fear of following the same career path as All-Star Magic and Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal, as well as playing second fiddle to Kobe Bryant. It appears from the LA Times’ column that Bryant practically confirmed those beliefs.

Despite being a lifelong Nets fan, I don’t think it’s bias to say that New Jersey is Dwight’s best option. Being “the guy,” with a superstar point guard, in Brooklyn, New York, is an enticing situation. The problem is that this trade hinders on Otis Smith’s willingness to see his franchise center go. The article doesn’t mean that the Lakers offer is off the table, and nothing is official until Dwight signs a new contract with whichever team he chooses.