The Lakers have used this offseason to solidify their team around aging star Kobe Bryant, in hopes that they can win another title before Bryant ends his historic career.
The Lakers brought in future Hall of Fame point guard Steve Nash at the beginning of the offseason to give their team a player who can run the offense extremely well, distribute the ball better than almost anyone in the league and play good defense.
Nash, along with Bryant and the rest of the Lakers starting five, gives Los Angeles a very good team that can compete in the Western Conference over the next few seasons.
Los Angeles wants to be more than competitive, though—they want to be a championship-caliber team. That is where Dwight Howard comes in.
Howard is the best center in the NBA right now and would surely be a force for the Lakers, but with the Big Three in Miami and the young talented roster in Oklahoma City, Howard will not win a championship in Los Angeles.
The Lakers are simply not going to be good enough to defeat these teams in a seven-game playoff series.
The Thunder are loaded on their roster from top to bottom. Point guard Russell Westbrook and forward Kevin Durant have formed one of the best tandems in the NBA. Throw in players like James Harden, Kendrick Perkins, Thabo Sefolosha and Serge Ibaka and Oklahoma City is just too strong for the Lakers, even with Dwight.
Now we get to the defending NBA champion Miami Heat. The Heat already have the Big Three of James, Wade and Bosh, which make them one of the top teams in the league to begin with.
Then you add on players like Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier, Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem and Norris Cole and you get an incredible team that was able to crush the Thunder in the NBA Finals. Now you add in future Hall of Fame guard Ray Allen and forward Rashard Lewis and you get a team that is ready to repeat and possibly even three-peat as the NBA champions.
Unfortunately, the title window has closed in Los Angeles. There is no doubt that the Lakers are making themselves a stronger team by adding Steve Nash and maybe even Dwight Howard, but if you think this is a championship team, you are dreaming.
The Lakers just do not have enough really good players from top to bottom on their roster to make it through the grind of the playoffs and win a championship.
I think it's safe to say that the next few championships will either be won in Miami or Oklahoma City, and not in Los Angeles.