Things are falling into Place
Brook Lopez has to undergo surgery on a broken foot.
So on a day where the Lakers decided to part with 4 of their experimental scrimmage bodies, some news appeared to be more relevant than them. Over at Brooklyn, Brook Lopez is to repair his broken foot. In the same light, the Nets have acquired veteran center Mehmet Okur from the Utah Jazz for a 2nd rounder in what would constitute as a good patch for NJ, and a salary dump for Utah.
But between the Nets inability to piece together a deal that is set towards the major prize that is DWIGHT HOWARD, to the Lakers playing an impressive pre-season game anchored on young center Andrew Bynum, and finally to the Magic center failing to show up impressive in the 2 pre-season games they had vs Heat, the Lakers suddenly find themselves in an unusually intriguing position – ahead. Ahead of the Dwight Howard Sweepstakes.
Lets examine several facts that have helped come up with this conclusion:
1. Brook Lopez, the meat of the Nets offer to the Magic will now be out atleast 5-7 weeks the minimum. For a season thats compacted and smuggled in so many ways, Lopez’s recovery + the time it will take him to come back 100% is on question. He will however, still be able to come back come March 15th deadline.
2. Mehmet Okur makes 10.8M this year. His salary is counted against what would have been enough to absorb the remainder of the Hedo Turkoglu deal which the Magic will surely insist on trading along with Dwight Howard.
3. Andrew Bynum just played the best game of his career albeit pre-season. Yes it doesn’t count, but it counts when you are scouting someone. The Lakers/Clippers series is one of the most-hyped and most-anticipated pre-season games in the NBA’s history and the atmosphere in the game surely did not only feel like a regular season game, but a playoff game.
4. Dwight Howard flunked out of his return. You can say all the right things infront of the media and say all the necessary PR things to keep you from being fined, but his demeanor and enthusiasm says it all.
At then end of the day, there is no basis to say that the Lakers and Magic are any closer to where they are 2 weeks ago compared to today. These are all but surmissions of an observer that for the 1st time in a long time, trading Dwight Howard to the Lakers no longer feels like a pipe dream but instead has become a logical option for the Magic.