It seems farfetched, but the Los Angeles Lakers are working on a mega trade that could land them both Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard and New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul, ESPN the Magazine’s Chris Broussard reported late Monday night.
Apparently the Lakers are willing to be as creative as necessary to make this happen and every player on their roster could be in play, except Kobe Bryant.
With both star players — Howard and Paul — unhappy with their current teams and trying to force trades before the season begins, it appears likely the two will find new homes soon. If they should both end up in Los Angeles, that would give the Lakers a Big Three that would rival the Miami Heat and likely surpass Boston.
It also could return the Lakers to the throne in the Western Division, where the reigning NBA champion Dallas Mavericks took over last season.
"The Lakers are interested in trying to do something for both (Paul and Howard)," a Western Conference executive said to ESPN. "I would hate to see it happen. I want Howard to stay in the East and Paul to go to the East.
"If it does happen, it'll make things much harder for us."
According to the report, the Lakers are dangling centers Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum and forward Lamar Odom as trade bait. It has long been rumored the Orlando Magic has interest in the inconsistent Bynum. Gasol would then be exiled to the Hornets. Odom would be thrown into one of the deals, likely Orlando, to make the numbers work.
Apparently the Lakers have had some talks with the Hornets about acquiring Paul in recent days, but it’s unclear if there has been any contact with the Magic.
How this would work for the 33-year-old Bryant remains unknown. In the past Bryant has had trouble sharing the spotlight with another superstar. In this scenario Bryant would have to share the attention — and the ball — with both Howard and Paul.
Obviously having Howard and Paul could extend Bryant’s time as an elite player, but logic and conventional wisdom rarely prevail in these situations.
Contact Terrance Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Terranceharris.
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