Report: Lakers will not trade Bynum and Gasol for Howard

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The Lakers are starting to play a little hardball in their negotiations. Or at least threatening to.

First they pull out of the Chris Paul trade, surprising the Hornets and Rockets, and now this nugget from the well connected Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register.

I’m told the Lakers will not be trading Bynum and Gasol for Howard.

One or the other, not both.

It’s really hard to make the numbers work without Bynum and Gasol or Lamar Odom, who the Lakers are about to trade to the Mavericks. Remember that the Magic are going to want to move the bloated contract of Hedo Turkoglu — three years, $32 million — as part of this deal so the Lakers have to send out enough salary to take it all back.

You can do it with Bynum (or Gasol, but the Magic would want the younger big) and Metta World Peace (Ron Artest) and Luke Walton, but do you really think the Magic would go for that?

It’s why the trade of Odom is confusing — they need him as a trade chip. Odom and Bynum (plus picks or other filler) makes way more sense for a rebuilding Orlando than World Peace and Walton. What would make the most sense for them is Gasol, but the Lakers are trying to avoid that option (they would have almost no front court depth).

So why did the Lakers trade Odom? Ding explains.

Lamar Odom requested the Lakers to trade him Friday, which was a driving force to them moving him in the deal to the Dallas Mavericks for a first-round pick, trade exception and other considerations in a deal not yet finalized.

The Lakers didn’t want a disgruntled Odom at his $8.9 million salary and believe they can acquire a new third big man to play behind Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.