The Lakers' success largely hinges on whether they can upgrade by Thursday's trade deadline. But the tea leaves suggest that Laker fans will be disappointed that the team may not acquire Dwight Howard and Deron Williams. Here's why neither scenario is likely to go down.
Dwight Howard, Magic center
Why it's unrealistic: The Magic is waiting until the final hour to decide whether to trade Howard, and it's possible they'll just keep him, since Orlando remains in championship contention. The hope remains that winning a title would help assuage all those concerns. Although Howard has acknowledged trading texts with Kobe Bryant, The Times' Mike Bresnahan reported in December that Howard came away leery from that conversation. That's because Bryant would remain the top player on the team. Even if the Lakers acquire Howard, it would be risky because it's not guaranteed he would sign an extension.