Lakers still aren’t going to trade Bynum and Gasol for Howard

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There’s a feeling out there that the Lakers are going to cave — that they are eventually going to agree to trade both Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol to get Dwight Howard. That’s the feeling in Orlando, where they sit on Howard waiting for the deals to improve. (Or him to change his mind, but Sunday didn’t help that.)

Don’t bet on the Lakers budging.

Here are the words of Jim Buss — the guy running the ship — to T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times.

“Where does this stuff come from?” he says. “You’d have to be kind of silly to give up two All-Stars like that for Howard. Zero truth to it. We have never been asked for Andrew and Pau and we’ve never offered them. I think they know we’d either say no or they would sound crazy for asking.”

Without Howard — or even Andrew Bynum — the Lakers looked gritty on Sunday, fighting back to lead by 11 with four minutes to play. But after that they looked like a team that wasn’t used to winning — turnovers, missed free throws and basic mistakes cost the Lakers down the stretch. Cost them the game.

Buss said this looks like the team the Lakers are sticking with.

“I personally believe now that we have the team that we will be playing with all season long.”

Buss has to say that, he saw what happened with Lamar Odom when trade stuff leaked out. But still you get the feeling Buss means it.

If they keep playing hard, Lakers fans will come to love this team. The question is will they keep coming up short against the elite?