Blogtable: Lakers Without Howard

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Week 36: Dwight in Houston | Lakers without Howard | Big Draft boost

Any advice for the Lakers if they don’t land Howard?

Steve Aschburner, Start dredging cap space for 2014 and beyond. And be sure to enjoy slumming it, learning how the other half lives, where less-storied teams in less-glamorous markets don’t always get what they want. I don’t think this date with humility is actually going to happen – I think Howard stays where he is, because he gets the L.A. playground without the renewed expectations to win that he’d face in Houston or Dallas – but maybe the Buss progeny would benefit from it.

Los Angeles Lakers (Noah Graham/NBAE)

(Noah Graham/NBAE)

Fran Blinebury, LeBron 2014.

Scott Howard-Cooper, Dust themselves off and move on. But they already know that. The Lakers took a shot, worked hard to make Howard feel comfortable, and got a bad ending. The move to get him in the first place was still the right thing to do. 

John Schuhmann, Start gathering assets to make moves down the line. They have to really start thinking about what their roster is going to look like when Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash are gone. If they don’t have Dwight, then they don’t have anyone that they can start building with. So with every transaction, they should put 2016 ahead of 2014.

Sekou Smith, Yes, move on and get ready for the free agent summer of 2014, where the Lakers could be a major player for a number of celebrated free agents who might be interested in the pressures that come with being one of the faces of one of the most important franchises in all of professional sports. I agree with my Hang Time Podcast partner Rick Fox when he suggests that the Lakers’ bowing down to Howard being beneath an organization of this ilk. All they have to do is survive one more lean season before putting the pieces together in the summer of 2014, when players like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and others could highlight a loaded free agent crop. Dipping into the lottery every now and then, particularly in a year when the Draft is loaded with superstar talent (as it will be in 2014), isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world. It worked for the San Antonio Spurs a time or two (David Robinson and Tim Duncan).

Lang Whitaker,’s All Ball blog: I think it all depends on Kobe. If Dwight’s gone and Kobe’s going to miss a significant amount of time next season, I’d run everything through Pau and then try to move him and his expiring contract at the trade deadline, and make out well enough in the stocked 2014 Draft to build going forward. While the Lakers are kind of up against it this season in terms of flexibility, Nash is the only player currently on the roster who is under contract through 2014-15. So if they wanted to, they could significantly remake their franchise.

Phillipp Dornhegge, NBA Deutschland: Blow everything up. Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace and a couple of weeks from Kobe Bryant won’t cut it, and Gasol and MWP won’t be back in 2014. So the Lakers should at least try to get something in return for them from a team that could use either one for a championship run. Also, getting rid of some players in exchange for picks could open the door for Elias Harris, who will play Summer League for the Lakers. I would obviously love to see him in the NBA.

Akshay Manwani, NBA India: Tread cautiously and build for 2014, which, with its top-heavy draft and the possibility of LeBron James making himself available in free agency, could offer the Lakers the opportunity of a not too distant redemption. And so even if the Lakers don’t become a lottery bound team after an average 2013-14 season (there’s no way Kobe Bryant would let them drop to the bottom of the conference), they could always use their history, glitz and a lot of cap space to lure the league’s best and get back among the NBA’s elite.


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  2. ddodol says:

    get jeff green from boston, let howard go and add 1 player for three point

  3. Zino says:

    Lol I read some of these comments and some of you have no clue what your talking about I would be shocked if
    you guys have even watched a full NBA game. Kobe isnt going to go through all this rehab to come back to a team
    that cant compete, KOBE always gets his way and he only has 2-3 seasons left in him so he wont waste it by coming back to a team that isnt championship caliber. Howard will stay in LA and Lakers will make a good run at the ring by adding strength to the bench.

  4. jAR108 says:

    look with d12 it is what it is and what gonna be is what’s gonna be. Getting D12 will not solidify anyone a championship!!!! when has signing anyone player became equal to a championship-not ever, not never. let howard make his choice and the lakers, warriors, rockets, mavericks and the entire nba will survive. heart is what makes a champion, and as of yet, d12 hasn’t shown he has it.

  5. Dave says:

    Bring Back Bynum!

  6. LakerGuy says:

    Let Him go, Dwight is a good center but LA doesnt need him, Move gasol to full time 5 and go after a 3/4 like maybe Iguodala, or even josh smith, moving Gasol to the 5 spot opens up the floor with his good outside shot unlike Dwight who is only good inside ( which is why he always leads in fg % ) and Dwight also has a history of back problems so 20+ million for someone who may only play 60 gms vs 10+ milllion for a utility guy who is not injury prone.? i know what i would do but im just a guy.

  7. dutchnbafan says:

    I don’t understand all the team going for Dwight in the first place.

    Let’s see: other free agent big men: Al jefferson, Pekovic, Bynum(too risky, but still…..Howard is a risk to)

    If i were the lakers, i would have tried to sign Al Jefferson(little chance other FA will say no to the lakers, besides dwight), and to get some defensive presence i would sign, Andre Iguodala. Add a three point shooter in kevin martin ( too late now) and get rid, of metta, and some bench players, and try and get a good point guard, vasques was available and cheap and thensurvive the season, get in the playoffs, and wait to sign a star next season, or better yet, they should have amnestied kobe, got rid of metta, nash and the old bench players, and should have signed young talented free agents.. those veteran presence only works with an few veterans learning young players not a lone youthful player in combination with old , very old veterans, that bitch him around, Dwight, got the most rebounds in the league, and was the only reason the lakers defense was almost worthy of beaing called defense, and peaople quit bitching, the media is making everything dwight does during agency news, he doesn’t write those articles, also the teams are begging him, he wasn’t begging the teams to make those pitches, so quit whining and let’s see how the league turns out to be after this free agency period

  8. binsente says:

    let dwight go! Deal with Golden state! trade him away and get Fresh players like barnes, klay thompson and bogut!

  9. Lakers4Life says:

    the lakers need to amnesty MWP and trade Gasol and Jamison. one such trade could be Gasol and Jamison both for Josh Smith of the Hawks. If that trades goes through then they could lure Dwight Howard to stay. There’s no way the Cavs would trade their franchise centerpiece in Irving for Nash and one or two draft picks, nor would the Celtics give away Rondo. Lakers could try to lure out Jeff Teague along with Smith from Hawks for Gasol and Jamison. Also Lakers have money in the bank so they can go out and sign the FA J.R. Smith.

  10. James says:

    Amnesty Kobe and get rid off all the old players. Give the key to Howard and start all over. Kobe and Howard cannot co-exist with the same team.

  11. F.A says:

    some good choices:
    1. Iguodala for D12
    2. irving for nash and the new draft pick
    3. CP3 and Griffin for D12 and nash

  12. Com says:

    Develop the young talent, they have 7-foot Robert Sacre who can be a great player like Earl Clark

  13. Hiep says:

    I’m laker fan and D12 in vietnam. through my english reading is not good but i understand that why D12 wants to leave. But i hoped that D12 would stay with laker and dominating in new season. the heat’s big 3 didn’t won the first season when Lebron came to heat but now they are dominating the NBA. SO PLEASE STAY AND START A BETTER SEASON WITH LAKER HOWARD

  14. lakerfan alohastyle says:

    lakers shouldn’t beg D12 to stay, they should beg D’Antoni to leave…hahahahaha..he’s a dumb coach, since when a coach can’t utilize his players and only thinks about his own system..what an idiot..that’s why he doesn’t have a ring..and he’ll NEVER get one….Jim Buss ..gotta think like your dad..he knew basketball, and he knew talent..Phil Jackson ..hey he’s the man..knows how to coach..knows how to use his players..and of course he has those rings to show..still cant believe they took him instead of Phil…anyway if Howard wants to leave..let him go..geeez..he’s not that good..go after Hibbert

  15. Kyle says:

    CP3 will be a good fit for the lakers

  16. Cj says:

    Trade Howard and Gasol for CP3 and Blake Griffin

  17. The Judge says:

    If Howard will not sign with the Lakers. They need to build and look out for some elite players like J. Smith, Ellis to replace the gap.

    Just like MJ in the Chicago Bulls, the only elite players on his time was Jordan & Pippen. The Chicago Bulls just build role players around them and make it happen for a 3 time Championship ring.

    As long as the Lakers have the players who has a will to commit to play right and motivated like the Bull’s ran before, I guess its possible that the Lakers will have another ring.

  18. jay says:

    or go for Rojon Rondo

  19. jay says:

    i think they need a good PG Irving is a good fit for LA and Al Jefferson

  20. sp says:

    I can see this happening. James at LA.
    After 3 rings only hollywood can provide fuel for more excitement.
    after Kareem and Shaq it is the time for the King.
    I tell you i can see the headlines..

    just exagerating… abit

  21. superlolo says:

    I hope Dwight and his MESS just go away. He is not worth that much money (Hype) and will not be a good leader (childish) to build a team. He is a MAJOR LIABILITY with his IN CONSISTENCE, CHILDISHNESS and FREE THOWS to top it all. We still have the 09-10 CHAMPIONS CORE and we can start with that. Gasol (5), Clark (4), Metta (3), Nash (2), KOBE (1).. Hill, Sacre (5b), Kelly (4b), F/A (3b), Blake, Goudelock (2b), Meeks (1b) = 11 players. with a max 15, we can still get a couple of good defensive (Matt Barnes, Corey Brewer, Trevor Ariza, Chris Copeland, etc.) shooter/forward from F/A, and another quick, defensive guard (Aaron Brooks, Jarrett jack, etc.). 2014 is a different ERA, when we have enough CAP SPACE to re-sign Kobe (he still is the most watched player in the NBA, SOLD OUT whenever and wherever he plays) as POINT GUARD, get STARS from F/A and start the rebuilding process.

  22. J says:

    its over howard is pretty much gone(Houston baby!!!!!!) they are old and have cap issues


  23. joon choi says:

    Everyone hypes how bad last season was for the Lakers. they were 28-12 in their last 40 games, and only got swept by the spurs because they did not have their top 4 guards throughout most of the series, KOBE BRYANT being one of them…

  24. Nando says:

    Lakers should get a younger decent point guard, (bench Nash) Let go of MwP, Blake,Jaminson and if they dont keep Gasol, trade him for another decent player.. As a bonus fire Dantoni….

  25. pmarkedward says:

    idont think d12 will leave specially lebrons coming in 2014 to LA THERE going to b adynamic duo like kobe in shaq did

  26. ben says:

    Trade D12 for Parsons and Asik !!!!!

  27. And1 says:

    Unnamed sources said that Lakers and Warriors had an agreement for a sign and trade in case Dwight picks Warriors. Makes sense for the Lakers if they get Bogut and Klay/Barnes. At least they will still be contenders.

  28. jack says:

    I think Howard or coward as we call him here in london is not as much of a great player as he think he is he had a good chance during the playoffs to prove to LA fans that he can be the man for the future in LA he really never was that great offensively in orlando but he had great perimeter guys that bailed him out most of the time and even like he was still crying great player such as MJ KB24 LBJ6 those guys dont cry when things dont go their ways n dwight need learn that he also need to learn to be a better center than what he is LA should have kept Bynum he was still growing as player and with good coaching he will probably the most dominant center out there so LA GM needs to work on his ability to make wright calls cos that Howard trade to me it was a bad move from day one it could have been smoother if they did bring Phill jackson back because Dantony doesn’t have that great success as a coach is offensive tactics win games but not rings so as a GM what was u thinking mitch?

  29. Lakerfaanwithnoname says:

    Without Howard, then go after Al Jefferson. But slowly start rebuild.

  30. Sandro says:

    Lakers should go to Al Jefferson

  31. Doug says:

    How about a coach that coaches to the talent of the players and doesnt forces a system

  32. Heat Nation says:

    LBJ to the Lakers???? haha funny…..

  33. Vernie says:

    Lakers must let howard leave and get AL jefferson what ever happens…he will help the lakers along with pau and KObe..release meeks sign a veteran or trade for AL farrud AMinu…thats DEFENSE

  34. SignMe says:

    Pau Gasol – C
    Kobe Bryant – SG
    World Peace – SF/PF
    Andre Iguodala – PF/SF (sign him)
    Steve Nash – PG

    get some serious bench help. Lure Crawford from the Clippers/ trade whatever. Need a consistent bench scorer

  35. LAL says:

    No he said, Jeanny Buss met with him and cried so much that he feels bad leaving the Lakers rot with this new CBA in place. She and Phil left, then Phil said that he will on the coaching bench next season if He stays.

  36. What! says:

    I met with Dwight today in Aspen. Asked him if could play in Denver, he said no. He said he is going to ATL

  37. ErnAngis says:

    get trevor ariza and offer indiana center roy hibbert for D12

  38. matthew mathis says:

    I agree that the Lakers should rebuild but not like Boston. Don’t just blow everything up or trade franchise players. Ever since Miami got this so called super team everyone else wants to do the same. I think we should let some of the pieces go slowly. 2014 isn’t the only draft with talent. Dwight is not the only center with talent. Winning championships is not by talent it’s the players heart. It seems like no one has the heart to stand up to Miami.

  39. matthew mathis says:

    I agree that the Lakers should rebuild but not like Boston. Don’t just blow every thing up or trade franchise players. Ever since Miami got this so called super team everyone else wants to do the same. I think we should let some of the pieces go slowly. 2014 isn’t the only draft with talent. Dwight is not the only center with talent. Winning championships is night by talent it’s the players heart. It seems like no one has the heart to stand up to Miami.

  40. yo says:

    The lakers don’t actually need a center, if they believe in D’antoni system.

  41. Cory says:

    Trade Howard for clay Barnes and bogut

  42. Kiko says:

    Just don’t jump the gun and sign Bynum,

  43. Dimitri says:

    I think the most important thing here for the Lakers is to let go of Howard and focus on getting a younger roster. Because Kobe and Nash are getting old, and as John Schuhmann mentioned, focus on the 2016 and not the 2014. Keep a veteran like Pau, and the Lakers should focus on developing their younger prospects.

    • Matthew says:

      I agree!! As I always I am putting my two cents in and I think the Lakers need to rebuild now!!! This is the perfect time with the Clippers team rising up. The Heat putting the screws to the league. And every other team is just playing for second or third. Get some flexibility and cap room. Pull in a few ballers who are looking for a change of scenery and just try to get younger and stay relevant. Stop trading off draft picks and put the “showtime” back in LA. LobCity is exciting. It’s attractive to the fans and that means it will generate revenue. Kobe is exciting too but even he cannot fight off that Western Conference logjam by himself. Steve Nash is a shell of his former self. Pau Gasol is on the decline as well on top of being emotional. Let Dwight go. Not a good fit for him at all.

  44. Kimmy says:

    We could use Pau Gasol in Atlanta and the Lakers could use Josh Smith, right? If I were the Lakers right now… Well, let’s just say I’ glad I’m not. This whole situation is quite embarrasing if you ask me. All this begging. Not attractive at all.

  45. rjunex says:

    Lakers without HOWARD is just fine… all they need is to get a big hearted center to replace HIM for that position… HOWARDS premature acts does not fit the lakers… please note also that KOBE can take all those shots without HIS teammates.. hahaha

  46. J-Short37 says:

    I can see my Lakers riding this season out give or take a another shooter being signed this year if Howard does not sign. I think as many had mentioned already its all about 2014 ” Free Agency” not the draft. True the worst teams get the number one pick but no HOF caliber player is a lock at the number one pick or top five picks every year and the Lakers would rather build through free agency than the draft with a lot of young guys. Look at NO Pelicans they have some top pick guys the last two years and they still end up in the draft, so I don’t put huge stock into tanking like the Celtics have chosen to do.

    • Matthew says:

      You gotta be able to do both dude… seriously. If the Lakers cannot afford to put some money into scouting, research, and player development than why even be in this league. The draft does not automatically make a bad team good but management of players can without a doubt. You can only afford so much through free agency now. The CBA is making sure of that every chance they get.

  47. uknowitstinks says:

    Long and short of it…. Howard will be a Laker
    To much Los Angeles goodies that come with being that in a Laker uniform
    It would be a 100 million reasons beyond any offer by another team to leave the Lakers

  48. Rob says:

    I would keep howard if they could and get josh smith and its over!

  49. marcus grant says:

    Pau gasol need to be traded he isn’t doing anything they should really look to see what they could get for him. Also the Lakers need to stop picking up these old guys and go after the young free agents like Andre,mints,j.r,or Josh Smith and I don’t know why they are letting Ron artest stay he doesn’t do anything,they should also think about getting a Genral manager because Mitch is not going after these young guys he keeps getting all of these old players witch makes the team slow and bad at defence,the bottom line is that the Lakers just need to make smarter decisions.

  50. Bobby manning says:

    How about letting howard leave and making an offer to iguadala to add much needed athleticism and scoring…he and kobe would be a devastating duo…gasol could play the five …maybe aquire point guard somewhere and bam…

  51. Gian Carlo says:

    Grabbed Asik, Lin and Parsons in return, if Houston wants Howard!

  52. installed says:

    How about Bogut and Barnes for sign-and-trade for Dwight to go the Warriors. Best case scenario for LA if D12 leaves. Not sure if numbers work but a sign and trade to Spurs for Splitter and Blair would be nice as well.

  53. Juan Lebron says:

    They should get bynum back

  54. Martin says:

    I agree with everything except that james, wade, and bosh are NOT leaving the heat, i mean, they’ve got back-to-back titles and are probably gonna win again next season

  55. theking0522 says:

    Who knew? the Lakers and their fans BEGGING a player to play for them. After all the whining last season. hahahha. How is that 2013 championship working out for you Lakers fans? LOL..Dumb fans!

    • Lakers4life says:

      Is you’re brain malfunctioning? I haven’t seen ANY Laker fan beg for Howard the Coward. He’s a waste of money.

      • theking0522 says:

        Is your brain malfunctioning? Read the Lakers fans posts and go to Staple Center and read the signs..Dumb fan

  56. theholyspecatator says:

    with or without howard, lakers just dont have enough to get to the finals. their best days are behind them…lakers will pretty much do what boston did in a couple of seasons from now…kobe doesnt have a number 2, tho dwight was supposed to be that but we all know hes not stayin in LA…it doesnt take someone this long to agree to stay in LA..and when kobe retires all chances of a title are completely gone…dwight needs tons of quality players around him and a weak conference to get to the finals…which neither will happen stayin as a laker.. sad to say it but .RIP lakers

  57. DINKO says:

    wow its funny how all you clown laker fans never give pau any credit and talk about him like he’s a scrub . You guys don’t win the back to back in 09 10 without pau , just remember that and show the man abit more respect that is all , laker fans make this guy the scapegoat all the time and its not fair .

  58. anton says:

    If NO Howard. trade meta and other guys in the bench for future draft or for young able bodied palyers (both defense and in offense). Build a team around pau. and trade him after the season….

  59. WOW says:

    Al jefferson isnt Laker material, the lakers should go after Bynum if Howard leaves..
    I think the lakers can “take a season off” and come in strong for what will probably Nash’s and Mamba’s last season

  60. byeD12 says:

    The Lakers have long term mediocrity in their near future. Some humility may do the organization some good.

    If they want to become a contender again without tanking, they need to take notes from Houston… and hope the fans have a favorite football team to tide them over for a while.

  61. GAWD Soljah says:

    Sign and trade, facilitate it, send him where he wants to gfo and get back some building pieces are maybe pull off a coo for like Hill or Granger + Hibbert or something. He would be more wiling to come back in 3 to 4 years when you have a team he would consider contenders, he would be better, or worse and you would know and hew would deal with you knowing you helped him out.

  62. Stephone says:

    I agree with you Robert, The Lakers should go after Al Jefferson. Al is the best Center in Free Agancy right now. They shouldn’t go after Bynam/ He has proven that he don’t have the heart & dicipline to be a great center. He has the talent, but he need the rest the of tools to be a great center.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Sign and trade with Howard

  64. gnik911 says:

    D12 will be back…i don’t really like the guy but i think LA is the place for him…

  65. why not take al jefferson and dejuan blair for their bigman? blake,meeks,hill,and clark keep them and get a veteran that can help kobe to motivate the team

    • Stephone says:

      I agree with you Robert, The Lakers should go after Al Jefferson. Al is the best Center in Free Agancy right now. They shouldn’t go after Bynam/ He has proven that he don’t have the heart & dicipline to be a great center. He has the talent, but he need the rest the of tools to be a great center.

      • says:

        I have to agree with you guys!

        Al Jefferson would be a STEAL! Howard is too much drama and not enough skill.
        clark inside outside would work well with Jefferson.

        I would also move gasol and MWP for a nice a young SF and a back up pg.

  66. entry21 says:

    get Bynum, i think he’s happier with the Lakers and be their third man behind Kobe and Pau years ago, maybe he’ll rejuvinate his career with the team that made him an All-Star

    amnesty MWP, get Iguodala, strengthen the bench, and they’ll do good again, possibly west finals/2nd round exit

    then 2014, well, you know the upcoming FA festivities that year, Lakers might have a shot at being perrenial contenders again, Pau will be their key piece for trading, and Kobe might accept a lower salary by the end of 2014, that’s the end of his contract if im not mistaken

  67. Shawn K says:

    My advice…Al Jefferson, or take an all-or-nothing risk on Bynum and sign him to only a 1 year deal

    • Bobby says:

      Yea trying bynum might be a good idea.

    • Fredrik Hedemark says:

      They don’t have the money for Bynum.

      • Larry says:

        They dont have the money for Bynum, but they have money for Howard? You make no sense. There is lots of money if Howard is gone.

      • ryan says:

        Learn how the league works Larry.

        They don’t just free up 20+ mil when Howard leaves. They don’t have cap space but have rights to go over the cap to sign Howard.

  68. the hidden truth says:

    its Kobes fault he bitched Howard all the way and mike d antoni dint play him how he played in Orlando

    • Lol says:

      ur an idiot.

      • he actually had a point there…but LA will be able to find a better replacement for Dwight

      • Blake says:

        Lakers fans are spoiled and now fear of losing a great player even though that great player didn’t appear to be a good fit. If they’re not a good fit, it wouldnt hurt to lose them. The Lakers won’t be any worst next season with Dwight. They didnt win a title last season. whats the worst it could happen next season? The answer is they wont win a title. Thats all that matters

      • Blake says:

        Lets put it this way for Dwight…All the Lakers legends are very well known, even to those who don’t watch basketball. Ppl that don’t watch basketball only know about Michael Jordan. No one else from any other team. Now they know about Lebron. But will they know about Dwight Howard? Not unless he stays in LA and get exposed to the media world wide and even in movies..Thats why many ppl care care Hollywood. If popularity is what Dwight wants, he won’t get it anywhere else unless he is Lebron or MJ

      • Blake says:

        This is why Kobe, Shaq, Magic, and even Rick Fox are well known…

    • J-Short37 says:

      Disagree man, Kobe did not play in the playoffs and rooted for the team to do well, with that being said Howard effort and game alone was not of franchise caliber play nor has it been. If he played in the 80/90’s he would have been a backup center. Its good for him that he is playing in todays game so he can make his money. But you cant put the whole think on Kobe only.

      • If it were me I’d be doing everything I could to get younger…FAST. I’d start with going after Rajon Rondo. Boston will get rid of him. I’d let Howard walk…and rely on the draft and get rid of the bulk of what they have now.

    • Lakersfanforlife says:

      Are you kidding me? Kobe carried the team last year! Without him, the Lakers wouldn’t have even made it to playoffs. D’Antoni and Howard need to go. D’Antoni refused to adjust his system based on the players he had and Howard just fails at executing. Howard doesn’t want a championship, he just wants money.

      • thomas says:

        let howard go,get Bynum an them league minium,trade nash/mwp to boston for rondo.three 7 footers (gasol,bynu,oden) on the floor at one time…..