Lakers experiment seems not to work. This experiment might go on though until the trade deadline. Just for consideration:
Lakers lost yet another game. This time against the Orlando Magic - Dwight's old team. So the LA experiment seems to be failing. No progress is visible. They can play offense in stretches, but they struggle often. On D you sometimes see Dwight doing his thing, but otherwise it's just terrible (How do you allow a Magic team to drop 40 points on you in the 4th quarter on your home court?). They have fired Mike Brown after just 5 games. D'Antoni hasn't been doing any better. They had the possibility to hire Phil Jackson, but...
Funny thing is... now, even if they wanted to get Phil Jackson back at whatever cost, they wouldn't be able to... not after how they took D'Antoni OVER HIM (should read-up, if you missed that story...). Besides, any attempt to hire a new coach would make the front office look foolish. So, the only remaining logical thing to do is... major trades! I might be wrong, but I sense that this time no one is safe, not even Kobe.
The idea to blow it all up and REBUILD, since this experiment doesn't seem to work and especially since Howard is not guaranteed to stay, must be especially enticing. Lakers have enough assets to package their stars (old stars) with their bad assets and get plenty of YOUNG "elite" talent in return. In my eyes it would be foolish (at this point) not do something like that. The experiment might go on though until the trade deadline.
Let's be honest. Kobe hasn't much more in the tank. He can play one more, maybe 2 seasons at "mamba" level (major injuries possible though at his age), then he'll surely turn into a mere mortal SG before he retires for good. Pau is in a similar situation if not worse... Artest (Metta World Peace) is already beyond his time and so is Nash. If they try it for more than this year, their assets TODAY will be hard to trade TOMORROW. They will get stuck and start gradually declining, then they will start rebuilding. In this way they would lose a decade before they, if lucky, become relevant again.
If there is franchise that is known to be bold enough to pull the trigger of that magnitude, it's the Lakers. They would get basically anyone they wanted in return with the exception being LeBron.
They could of course convince Howard to sign with the Lakers by showing him their commitment to build around him and leave the Kobe era behind them. They could also consider Dwight as impossible to keep, so they just might keep Kobe.
Point is, they might trade everyone from their roster and it's interesting to think about how the Raptors could be involved in this. But I really don't see any assets on the Raptors the Lakers might be interested in, if the Lakers go ALL IN. But if they elect to do only smaller trades, like trade Gasol or trade Artest or anything else, then the Raptors could be a potential trading partner.
So what's your thoughts?