First what makes me think this at all Possible:
Of the teams [Dwight] Howard is likely to consider when exercising his early-termination option after next season — sources say the Lakers, Knicks and Nets are the strong favorites — L.A. is the one with the most attractive trade assets. The massive contracts attached to the Lakers’ most desirable players also puts them in the rare position of being able to absorb either[Gilbert] Arenas or [Hedo] Turkoglu as a way to soften the blow for Orlando. [...]
"One person told me Howard wants to be a Laker. Someone else said he wants Chris Paul to join him in Orlando. Another said his top priority is to sign a maximum contract, which would make a trade (either in-season or a summer 2012 sign-and-trade) the only way for him to land in Los Angeles."
Putting this together in a trade that makes sense for every team involved? Good luck, but under a couple of admittedly unlikely scenarios there is a perfect storm that makes my intriguing headline seem a little more sensible.
Also I want to note there are things said about the reality of the Hornets that as a Hornets fan might be great to hear. Note that I think this thing going down this way is unlikely. A lot of dominoes have to fall for it to happen, so lets talk about those dominoes.
First, Chris Paul has to say he wants out of New Orleans. This isn't a huge stretch, he's done it before but as we wind down toward the end of his contract his ability to leverage that fact might increase the likelihood he could force a trade.
Second, Dwight Howard needs to want out of Orlando. I'm not sure of this yet, like at all. Howard is a unique guy, and it seems he does enjoy the pull he has in Orlando, the New Arena built for him etc. But This scenario has been speculated by more rational people than I'm sure you think me to be.
Third, The New Orleans Hornets have to be ok with a team that sells tickets but is not necessarily built to win. You're not going to get a better center cog back than Paul and since the NBA owns the Hornets I think re-building the team to a high attendance and thus high profit franchise with a payroll lower than they currently would be satisfactory for its owners(the nba.) Conspiracy theories abound, but I don't think its wrong for the NBA to make a smart business move that would 1) Make the Lakers near locks for the Finals every year(netting overall profit for the NBA) 2) improve the profitability of the team they own.
Fourth, Kobe has a no trade clause. He can Veto this trade. My bet is his pride doesn't let him. But as I said earlier, the likelihood of this happening is not large. These are chance scenarios that when applied together makes for an extremely unlikely chance.
Here's the trade that makes it all happen and keeps each franchise happy under the conditions listed above:
If you don't wanna mozy of to espn here's the trade:
Magic- Lose: Howard(Laker,) Arenas (Laker,) Bass(New Orleans)
Get: Bynum, Gasol, Fisher
Why for the Magic? This trade almost makes sense even if Howard doesn't want out. Bass goes to New Orleans since we have Gasol at the Forward. We get rid of the immovable object that is Gil's contract by packaging him with Howard and get back Bynum and Gasol. The trade generally breaks down as Gasol, Bynum and Arenas Cap relief in exchange for Howard. This to me is fair value for Howard. And the Magic would have a team that would go at least as far as the one this year did- with the added benefit of cap room once these contracts go if not extended.
New Orleans- Lose: Chis Paul(Laker,) Jarret Jack(Laker,) Emeka Okafor(Laker,)
Why for the Hornets? The Hornets would still have a team that sells since it has Kobe Bryant in the starting lineup. They also get Blake to come in as their starting or back up pg to soften losing Paul. Blake, Bryant, Ariza, Bass, Random Defensive Center is not built to win Championships. But it is a team built to happily allow Bryant 40 shots a night while defending well. Probably around an 8th seed, where the hornets are now, but selling way more tickets.
**Why for Kobe: Kobe can Veto this trade. But Bryant has his rings, going to a team where he can go back to being Kobe the way Derrick Rose is being Rose right now for the for bulls, for him must be somewhat appealing. Additionally I think Kobe would have enough pride(read arrogance) to think he could pull it off. For the record books, spending the last 4 seasons on a team where you are the only offensive options bodes really well for Kobe.
Get: Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Jerret Jack, Emeka Okafor, Gilbert Arenas
Why for the Lakers? For starters, Kobe's Contract is 24 million a year. Kobe has declined a ton, despite the blathering of millions including himself that say he hasn't. At his price, I don't see how the lakers free the cap room to build a contender. He's simply not worth that amount of money to a team that is trying to build for a Championship. It works out as sending away the cost of Kobe Bryant, for the cost of Arenas and Okafor. This seems like a horrible Idea, but it is the absorption of these 2 contracts that allow the lakers to put Chris Paul and Dwight Howard on the same team. And they'll be favorites the second they are, make no mistake about it.
Addtionally, their lineup would like this:
Jarret Jack/Shannon Brown
I don't consider myself an expert, but I think most people would agree that team is nearly the best defensive and offensive team in the league at the same time. Everyone in the league would once again be re-tooling to deal with the lakers, who once again are bigger than everyone else, with the best guard in the league on the wings.