The Lakers are not good enough. This is a simple fact LA needs to confront. They’re not bad, but if they want to make a real run at another championship they need to make some moves. Lets face it; they aren’t even the best team in LA any more with the rise of the Clippers, let alone the Western Conference.
Their current big three are Kobe, Gasol, and Bynum. The problem is Bynum’s never around. He pulls a Houdini every year when it comes play-off time because of his ailing knees. Plus, Bynum’s never really lived up to his billing. He can be a dominant force in the middle and is certainly a true 5-man, but his decision-making leaves a lot to be desired and when you factor in his disappearing act he gets even less attractive. This leaves the Lakers with only 2 key players come crunch-time and that definitely isn’t going to get it done.
Maybe LA needs a new Superman? They did pretty well with the old Kobe / Superman (Shaq) combo back in the day and quite frankly the new Superman (Howard) practically has the exact same stats. Both Shaq and Howard play great defense. Both rebound strong. Both are strong low-post players. Both have great smiles, started in Orlando, believe they can rap and can’t make free throws to save their lives.
Howard would definitely help an LA offense struggling for a new identity following the departure of Phil Jackson and the famous triangle offense. Now running a more traditional motion offense with Mike Brown, someone like Howard could really make a big impact. One, it allows Gasol to be the badass 4-man he was born to be. Two, it gives them a consistent low-post presence they can rely on as the season progresses.
The good news for the Lakers is Howard would love to come to LA. The bad news is a one-for-one trade involving Bynum and Howard is unlikely to happen because Orlando would come up light on the deal and seeing as how LA gave Odom away for a sandwich and a smile, who else are they willing to trade? Draft picks?
LA needs to get their hands on Dwight Howard if they want a ring in 2012, but they’ll have to do some serious GM maneuvering to make that happen. Lets see if Jerry West can pull off another earth-shattering deal.
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