This is all true but I want to address something.
Pau is a tradeable asset because of his large contract correct? Him being on the wrong side of 30 helps the cause. But also does the fact that he hasn't been performing. He also has some defensive shortcomings. However, recently we have been riding him to a string of victories. It's no damn coincidence that the Laker's late season success was simultaneous with Pau's return. His offense is fantastic and though he's not the same player under the basket as a few years ago, putting up a 17/20/11 line is no joke.
Now you look at Dwight. On the right side of 30. Has questionable motivation and winning instinct but has proven himself a physical specimen. Can potentially be "the man" for the Lakers from a franchise standpoint, but definitely won't be "the man" to win it all. Is a defensive freak, anchor, and huge asset on that end of the floor. Offensively he is completely challenged. Can't create a shot for himself. Gets in major foul trouble, has trouble staying in games at times. Free throw shooting is horrendous. Is a fun guy to be around, teammates like him.
Pretty much it comes down to age. If Pau was 29 I'd absolutely re-sign Dwight and trade him. I hate having to lose Pau, but if we can't keep both we have to go with Howard. He's younger and we potentially haven't seen him at his best. Am I happy with it? No...but I'm not Kwame Brown mad.
We're going to have to confirm Dwight's extension before moving Pau is an option. That being said, this playoff run could solidify him riding out his contract in LA. Nash is a question mark and could retire. Don't expect Kobe's $30M to eat our cap space for half the season without him on the floor. Something is going to happen....either he's going to come back or we're going to use the injury exception or.....or....
The way this season has ended 29-12, there is absolute reason to try it again if your Jim & Mitch, with some minor tweaks. That keeps 2014 an option, and we're still able to "compete". Same reason MDA will be our coach in October
We'll make minor changes and sign guys on the cheap a la Miami. My only hope is that Nash retires, Clark works on his game, and we push over the cap for one more year to get a young guard and make some bench improvements.