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posted: 2/22/2013 5:29 AM

What's next for the Lakers with Kobe & Howard?

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  • Will the Lakers survive the drama and struggles with center Dwight Howard and guard Kobe Bryant?

      Will the Lakers survive the drama and struggles with center Dwight Howard and guard Kobe Bryant?
    Associated Press

 
By Mike North
The Rebel Insider

The NBA is in full gear right now, but there are some big questions still unanswered.

Locally, our Chicago Bulls have had a great season with all-star performers Joakim Noah and Luol Deng. With a healthy Derrick Rose, that would have brought the count to three this year.

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If Rose plays this year, fine.

If he doesn't, that's fine too.

D-Rose is the future and the Bulls know it, and I am sure they will make the right moves with him.

While Joakim Noah's attitude is all about the team and hustle, the opposite "all about me" mentality is in place with the Los Angeles Lakers' Dwight Howard.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak stated the other day Howard isn't going anywhere. This is Year Two of Dwight Howard making news off the court, and not making news on it.

Here's my advice to the Lakers: make a trade. If they don't, he could walk and the Lakers get nothing.

More important, if they keep him what's the guarantee they will win?

Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard are not seeing eye to eye on the court or off. That won't change. Don't forget that Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe had their issues, which forced Shaq to move on, and Shaq is a first ballot Hall of Famer.

I think there is a team lurking that could be dominant for years to come with the acquisition of a Dwight Howard, and that's the Houston Rockets. Adding Howard in with the recent signing of Jeremy Lin, who scored 29 points and had 8 assists Wednesday night to help upset the Oklahoma Thunder 122-119, makes a potent combination.

But to add insult to injury or loss in this case, the Thunder saw former teammate James Harden put up 46 in the Rockets' win. The Thunder had Harden and didn't want to pay him so he was traded to the Rockets, and the trio of Harden, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrooks was not allowed to grow together.

The Rockets, if they get Howard with these two great guards, would become co-favorites to win the Western Conference.

The one move the Rockets would probably have to make would be a sign and trade of former Bulls center Omer Asik.

Here's the thing -- if Howard stays, then Kobe would have to go, which is a major move requiring nerve and guts. But Kobe would fetch talent and bring economic relief, so you could sign Howard to the max.

Kobe is the past and present, and Howard may be the future. If you want Howard to sign, then Kobe goes. If Howard leaves, Houston should be his destination.

One last question and you can email me your answer at mike@northtonorth.com. Would you rather have Joakim Noah or Dwight Howard on the Bulls? I'll print some of your responses.

Program note:

Watch me on Mancow WPWR Ch. 50 at 6 a.m. Friday and Monday.

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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