Potential Dwight Howard Trade: By the Numbers

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With training camps and free agency opening up, the trade winds are swirling wildly with rumors abound left and right.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been linked to two of the more notable thought-to-be-available superstars in Dwight Howard and Chris Paul. But how plausible is it that they get a deal done, specifically for Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard?

The ever-present rumors of Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard is the popular and most logical swap for Los Angeles and Orlando. The problem is that that swap in and of itself is not enough to complete a deal because it does not satisfy the rules of the CBA. Without getting too technical, here’s a basic breakdown by the numbers.

Dwight Howard’s 2011 salary is around $18 million. The combined salaries of Odom and Bynum can be rounded up to around $24 million. Under the rules of the CBA, teams making trades have to come as close to swapping salary for salary as possible, with the only wiggle room being that teams can trade for players whose salaries are no more than 125% of the salary of the player that they would be bringing in, plus $100,000.

Confused yet?

Lets just say that in order for a deal like this to happen, the Lakers and Magic would have to get creative.

Here’s the most likely scenario that would make a deal between the two teams possible:

Lakers receive: Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkoglu

Orlando receives: Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom and Luke Walton

Along with acquiring Howard, the Magic would force the Lakers to take on the 3 years and $34 million left on Turkoglu’s contract. The Lakers ship out the aforementioned duo of Odom and Bynum, while throwing in the contract of Luke Walton who has 2 years and $12 million left on his deal.

The Magic would almost certainly try to negotiate a buyout of Walton upon completion of the trade. The Lakers would have their center of both the present and the future, as well as a solid swingman that is comparable to Odom who can handle the ball and score. The Magic can either buyout Odom’s contract along with Walton’s once the trade is consummated (Odom has a very favorable buyout at around $2.5 million), or they could simply keep Odom on the roster and choose to decline his option after the season ends.

Orlando would have an entire season to decide whether or not Bynum would be a viable replacement for Howard, and if Gilbert Arenas can return to his former self after a full healthy off-season. If they aren’t pleased, they can also decline Bynum’s option at the end of the season and use the amnesty clause on Arenas and start from scratch with a ton of money under the salary cap in 2012.

The rumors and speculation will continue to surface the closer we get to the start of the NBA season. If nothing else, with amnesty clauses, superstars likely on the move and a much smaller free agency period than normal, this will likely be one of the more memorable years in NBA history.

Kevin Figgers is a contributor to LakerNation.com and the co-host of Voice of the Nation. Follow him on Twitter.
  • bye bye brown

    That would be sweet if Orlando bought out Odom and then we just picked him back up in 30days. Of course all of this is just spectulation. Plus it gets rid of Walton this Howard trade is sound better and better every day.

    • TheNolanater

      If they buy out Odom’s contract and we resign him that would be perfect.
      Only reason I’m not sure of this trade is I think Odom is our 2nd best player.
      Maybe if we can do Bynum and Brown and Barnes that be better then Odom.

      • guest

        new cba rules doesnt allow for a player to be traded, then bought out and return to the same teams as weve seen in the past. 

    • Jaye5112

      Man I would love to see L.O. stay but it is what it is if that’s wat they want,Handle It!!!,,just like that Odom could be replaced tho,By Turk a seriously dangerous scorer,Orlando owes him a gang of money tho.My choice would be Lamar for sure over Heidu any day but Binny for D.Howard,u gotta do it,even if it includes my boy L.O., Hopefully Howard does the right thing and comes to L.A…haha home of the champs

  • Anonymous

    Come on, Lakers, just get this deal done already.

    • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

      One more day till Free Agency starts

  • jolida

    The Laker fans better hope they get Dwight Howard because if you don’t Bynum will remember and he will leave when his contact is up!