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OKC Thunder: Dwight Howard to Lakers would be a Thunderous headache

Combination of Howard, Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol would make Lakers the Western Conference favorites instead of Oklahoma City
by Darnell Mayberry Published: July 29, 2012

It's the Thunder's worst nightmare.

Dwight Howard in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform.

The Lakers are one of only two teams that Howard is willing to re-sign with if traded from Orlando. Brooklyn is the other, and Dallas is a dark horse landing spot for Howard in free agency next summer in case both of those options fall through.

If the Magic complete a deal with the Lakers, it would effectively shift the balance of power in the Western Conference from Oklahoma City to Los Angeles.

With a nucleus of Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Howard and presumably Pau Gasol, the Lakers immediately would become the favorites in the West and a serious threat to succeed Miami as NBA champions.

Howard is the game's best center, more dominant even than Lakers giant Andrew Bynum, who figures to be the odd man out in any potential Magic-Lakers swap.

Howard's defense alone would revitalize the Lakers, especially under defensive-minded coach Mike Brown. With Howard manning the middle, he'd erase L.A.'s defensive mistakes and single-handedly atone for Nash's defensive deficiencies.

Offensively, Howard would be a force just in catching alley-oops from Nash and getting putbacks off misses. And though he's not the most skilled low-post scorer, his post presence still would make opponents think twice about doubling Nash and Bryant.

It's the perfect fit.

And it should make the Thunder long for Howard to Brooklyn.

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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