Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak will be a busy man between now and the 3 p.m. ET trade deadline as the club continues to be involved in several possible trade scenarios.
Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated reported that Dwight Howard has told close friends that he'd prefer not to play for the Lakers. However, the Lakers and Magic are still discussing a possible deal as they hope the Magic center changes his mind.
A deal for Howard would almost certainly cost the Lakers Andrew Bynum. The 24-year-old is arguably the second-best center behind Howard, and is enjoying an excellent season.
Bynum averages 17.6 points and 12.7 rebounds per game for a team that has Kobe Bryant tossing up shots left and right, and where he has to compete for rebounds with 7-foot power forward Pau Gasol. In Orlando, Bynum's numbers would almost certainly be higher.
The Lakers would also likely have to surrender draft picks, which hurts their chances of getting younger, but which they will glady concede for Howard. Bynum, however, believes he's staying with the purple and gold.
I definitely feel like I'm going to be a Laker for a long period of time, said Bynum on Wednesday during 710 ESPN's Max & Marcellus Show. They had an opportunity to trade me earlier, they didn't do it. They wanted me to develop and I started realizing, now I'm trying to go get it.
If the Lakers can't get Bynum, they can try to lure Brandon Jennings. The Lakers' main goal has always been an upgrade at point guard, and Jennings would certainly be a step in the right direction.
It would be homecoming for Jennings, who attended Dominguez High School in Compton, Calif., and there has been discussion about the 22-year-old star moving on from Milwaukee in recent weeks. On Tuesday, the Bucks acquired Monta Ellis, who is 6'3 but is more of a shooting guard.
In order to land Jennings, the Bucks would almost certainly want Pau Gasol. The Lakers big man has been on the block for several months, and he remains the Lakers' prime trade bait this season.
To make the deal work, the Bucks would have to find salaries to match Gasol. One would almost have to be Kwame Brown, who was recently acquired with Ellis from Golden State. Brown, who is expected to sit out the rest of the season, was part of the deal that brought Gasol to the Lakers from Memphis. The Lakers would also have to take on the salary of Beno Udrih, a veteran guard averaging a little better than six points per game.
Gasol could also be dealt to Chicago. According to ESPN sources, the Bulls want Gasol, but the Lakers have limited interest in Carlos Boozer, who would be key piece of the deal. The Bulls would likely include C.J. Watson to the trade for salary cap reasons, and because the Lakers would prefer a point guard in the trade.
If the Lakers stand firm on not accepting Boozer, don't be shocked if this deal involves a second team, like Houston or Milwaukee.
A surprising possibility is Rajon Rondo moving to L.A. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers had discussions with the Celtics over Rondo, but the talks stalled when Boston asked for Gasol. The Lakers and Celtics, who have been rivals since almost the dawn of the NBA, rarely engage in trade talks.
It wouldn't be shocking, again, if the Lakers move Gasol for Rondo and other pieces, in a three-team deal.
A minor deal may involve Raymond Felton. The Blazers guard has struggled this season with a field goal percentage of 38.2 percent. The Blazers had success with Steve Blake, but the Lakers would have to include sparingly used bench players and perhaps a draft pick to make the deal work.
Portland may need a shakeup as the club is currently two games under. 500 and in danger of missing the playoffs.
Another possible player who can find his way to the Lakers, and has been subject to trade rumors to Los Angeles, is Ramon Sessions. The Lakers could send either Luke Walton or Blake, but would certainly have to attach multiple draft picks to make the deal work.