Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum? That seems to be the question that has yet to be answered by Lakers management. Should they trade for a known superstar that can handle a team on his back or for a budding All-Star that has been having maturity issues for as long as he has been in the league?
For Lakers fans, the decision is to keep Andrew Bynum. There are multiple reasons why his name shouldn't even be on the trading block.
1. Andrew Bynum hasn't peaked yet, talent-wise.
Bynum had his best year in the 2011-2012 season which earned him a spot on the All-Star Roster. He averaged 18.7 PPG and 11.8 REB's a game.Dwight's 20.6 PPG and 14.5 REB's is still more than Bynum's, but he had to share the ball with Gasol and Bryant which limited the amount of time he had the ball in his hands.
2. Bynum can step aside and be a team player while Howard wants to be the leader.
Why would the Lakers risk a conflict with Howard and Bryant when Bryant and Bynum have already proven that they can work together and make it to the playoffs.
3. Bringing in Howard poses a risk.
Lets say that the Lakers do bring Dwight to LA. Lets say he start the season. And lets say he re-injures his herniated disk in his back. Now he's out for most of the season and the Lakers are even worse off then they were before. A good risk? I don't think so.
4. Howard's defense is superior, but that can be fixed.
By bringing in a couple key free agents, the Lakers could bolster down a strong bench which could bring them back to the Finals. I'll elaborate later.
To me (and most Laker fan I have spoken to), Bynum is a sure thing that has proven his worth to the franchise. If the Lakers really want to improve, the free agent market is where it should happen.
These are the deal(s) that LA should make this off-season.
1. O.J. Mayo to LA in sign and trade.
For those who say that OJ won't fill nay needs of LA don't watch the Lakers. What do the Lakers need? A bench scorer who give valuable resting time to Kobe? Someone who can fill it up from long range? Someone who can downright play ball? Sounds a lot like OJ Mayo. And maybe learning from Bryant might interest Mayo even more to come to Hollywood.
2. Brandon Rush to LA.
While the Lakers probably only could bring in one player with the mid-level exception, if Mayo doesn't come, Rush is a great player to fill the role. He can shoot, play D, and still help take time for Kobe.
3. Deshawn Stevenson or Jodie Meeks.
These are just some valuable guards that can play SG or PG who might be valuable to the Lakers. Meeks is a fast, energetic guard and Stevenson can shoot the 3 ball and play D. Options are good.
4. Kenyon Martin or Carl Landry.
Old, yes. But they can still contribute to a team that needs backup post players. This would also help their defense. Keep Bynum and grab Martin to secure a strong post presence.
Getting any of these players would be amazing and if the Lakers find a way to get them, they MIGHT just be better than the Heat.