Bernucca: Why the Lakers have to trade Dwight Howard

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It would be a tremendous dice roll for the Clippers, who haven’t gotten Chris Paul’s word that he will re-sign with them this summer and would be trading away his young, extremely promising insurance policy. They also would be getting back another impending free agent in Millsap.

But if the Clippers are serious about winning a championship, they have to fill their biggest need, which is a scoring big. DeAndre Jordan protects the rim but is an intentional foul target late in games. And for all his versatility, Lamar Odom has scored in double figures once this season.

In the offseason, the Clippers can decide whether to keep Odom or Millsap, then use the savings on a backup point guard if Chauncey Billups isn’t brought back.

The Jazz would have a point guard with All-Star potential to team with fellow youngsters Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, who will play more in Millsap’s absence. Utah takes on an extra $2 million for Hill next season but still has phenomenal flexibility as incumbent point guards Mo Williams, Jamaal Tinsley and Earl Watson all have expiring contracts.

You can speculate whether these deals are realistic. But they make sense.

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Comments

  1. Send Howard to Dallas if the Mavs will give up Nowitzki for the trade. Dirk would fit in with the Lakers roster of players very well and he isn’t a prima donna like Howard, and isn’t out with injury for every little hangnail.

  2. Cuban has said many times he will never, ever trade Dirk. So, your big conclusion is garbage.

  3. Agree with all your points, but Cuban would be taking a risk to sign Howard, without having Dirk. Howard could easily leave for Houston in Summer and have a better team.

    Also, tomorrow’s game of Boston vs. LA could be a huge one. If LA loses, they would have to go 20-7 the rest of way to finish 45-37 as you say. A Howard for Rondo trade makes sense for Boston, since Celts would then believe they have a shot at title this season (though I don’t think Howard can finish season).

    Lakers could then move Nash for talent for next year, since they wouldn’t make playoffs if they lose tomorrow.

    I can see Howard going to Houston or signing a 1+1 with Lakers.

  4. Might Dirk retire at the end of this season if traded to the Lakers? Its not like next year is guaranteed to be that much fun for the Lakers with all of theirs stars approaching social security age (Bryant, Gasol, Nash and the newly installed Dirk, not to mention MWP)

    • He might. But he also might retire in 2 years if he stays in Dallas. The Mavs’ plan is flawed because whoever comes there has to carry Dirk, whom I love but is done as a superstar. He could extend his career – as could all of those old guys – by playing together. Thanks for reading

  5. This column 180′d in the middle – is it a piece about Howard or an overall trade discussion list? Strange to read with the title as is.

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