Earlier this week, the Lakers added the point guard they’d be seeking seemingly forever when the team orchestrated a deal to bring two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash to town. Snarky writers and would-be comedians on Twitter anxiously awaited a statement from David Stern that advised that the deal had been nixed by the league office.
Nash agreed to a sign-and-trade deal that will cost the Lakers $27 million over three years. They used the trade exception that was received in the Lamar Odom deal last season. Ultimately, the Lakers dealt four draft choices (two first-round and two second-round selections) to the Suns and paid $3 million.
Now comes the huge question. Will the Lakers pull off another deal to land Dwight Howard? The big trading chips, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, remain on the Los Angeles roster, but the mercurial Howard has been vocal about his desire to move to Brooklyn. Of course, the long and winding road that brought Howard to this decision point has been maddening for NBA fans and the Orlando front office.
Complicating matters is a local report in Los Angeles regarding a discussion that allegedly occurred between Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard before the 2011-2012 season in which Bryant reportedly told Howard that he’d be the third offensive option. I have to believe that the acquisition of Nash would allay any trepidation about roles and touches. Of course, Bryant’s shot total could become an issue at some juncture.
One report that has been circulating, per frequent Fantasy Freaks guest, Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated, is that the Magic wanted some number of the draft picks offloaded to the Suns as part of the Nash deal. Amick cites Rob Hennigan’s time with the Thunder as the basis for the draft pick requirement.
Is a package centered on Andrew Bynum and including the exchange of other pieces in the great salary swap enough? Has Hennigan seen enough during his time with the Spurs and Thunder to make Bynum less desirable? The headaches caused by Howard during his period of indecision would be swapped out for different ones, as longtime followers of the Lakers and Bynum’s tenure would tell you.
We’re in the rare period where NBA activity knocks the NFL off of the back page. Training camp is coming soon enough, but the wild and wooly high-ticket payouts in the NBA certainly move the needle in the interim.