It has been rumored in recent days that the Los Angeles Lakers were trying to acquire Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, in separate deals. But once it became clear the trade for Paul would be difficult to get approved by the NBA, the Lakers appear to have made their choice between Paul and Howard, and have picked the big man.
The Lakers pulled out of the Paul trade on Saturday night, and instead will reportedly trade Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks, per Marc Stein of ESPN.com. What the Lakers gain in the deal is an $8.9 million trade exception that the Lakers could use to create space for Howard. As Eric Pincus of Hoopsworld tweeted, the Lakers can combine their $8.9 trade exception from the Odom deal with their $5.5 million exception from trading Sasha Vujacic last season.
It would seem that Andrew Bynum would need to be a part of any deal to the Orlando Magic for Howard, who formally requested a trade on Saturday, per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. However as Wojnarowski noted, Howard might prefer the New Jersey Nets as a possible destination. It will come down to the Lakers needing to beat a Nets' offer that would center around center Brook Lopez and multiple draft picks.
The Lakers have Bynum and the picks, and now with the trade exceptions have the room to take on a bad contract like Hedo Turkoglu to provide salary cap relief for the Magic. The question now will be: is it enough for the Lakers to acquire another superstar center from Orlando?
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