Why Deron Williams, Not Dwight Howard, Should Be Offseason Focus for L.A. Lakers

Matt ShetlerCorrespondent IMay 31, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 10:  Deron Williams #8 of the New Jersey Nets brings the ball up court in the second half against the Philadelphia 76ers at Prudential Center on April 10, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

If Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is serious about making a major move to improve the team for the 2013 season, there should really be one immediate name on his list.

That name is Deron Williams.

In fact, it's Williams and not Dwight Howard who should be the focus of the Lakers' entire offseason.

First of all, Williams has indicated that he would be open to a sign-and-trade deal to the Lakers if he chooses not to sign with the Nets, ProBasketballTalk's Kurt Helin reported last week.

Howard has offered up no indication that he would be willing to sign an extension in Los Angeles, so he presents a much greater risk.

Simply look what each player brings to the Lakers in their current form.

The Lakers can't win without a legit floor general. While Ramon Sessions was a nice upgrade from the Derek Fisher and Steve Blake combination, he's also a guy that won't be bring a championship to Lakerland any time soon.

To acquire Williams, the Lakers would have to include at least Pau Gasol in a deal to make things work out salary-wise.

But the Lakers can win with a core three of Williams, Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum.

However, if Kupchak targets Howard and keeps Gasol, he will almost certainly have to include Bynum in a trade. A core three of Bryant, Gasol and Howard leaves the Lakers in the same position they were in this year.

They would be long and could dominate on the block, but without an upgrade, the chances of improving over the second round playoff exit they've had in back-to-back seasons is very slim.

However, adding that elite point guard provides an entirely different dimension to this team. 

Williams is not only a facilitator but a crafty scorer as well. Add him to Kobe's scoring and the size of Bynum, and the Lakers instantly become a better team.

For that reason and that reason alone, it should be Williams who is the focus of the Lakers offseason if they want to contend in 2013.