How can 37-year-old point guard Steve Nash be better for the Lakers than 25-year-old franchise center piece Dwight Howard? Many people probably read this headline and laughed out loud, but the fact remains that if I were the Mitch Kupchak, I'd go for Mr. Nash over the Man of Steel 2.0
What is the more likely scenario: the Orlando Magic, at the trade deadline, below .500 and afraid Dwight Howard will leave in the offseason, decide to spring for a trade, or the Phoenix Suns, at the trade deadline, below .500 and afraid Steve Nash will leave in the offseason, decide to spring for a trade.
I think anyone in their right mind can predict that the Suns will struggle far more than the Magic will to start off the season, and come the deadline, the pressure will be on to make a deal.
As it stands right now, the Suns are in denial. They think that they can give this team a quick facelift and be back in the playoffs looking to make a run for the title. The truth is, though, the Suns are on their way out, and they need to start looking at a way to rebuild.
The Orlando Magic, on the other hand, will more likely play the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James game in which they do everything they possibly can to get the right pieces around Dwight in order to sway him from leaving. It's the logical move to make, and don't expect them to do anything otherwise.
For the Lakers, they must look at their roster and decide what this year will bring. This is a team that needs to live season-to-season. If they don't win a title next year, that's another Kobe Bryant season wasted. Should they trade for Howard, they would have to gut the team and likely go through a serious adjustment period in which winning this year is much less likely.
Should they go for Mr. Nash at the deadline, they will likely only have to give up one major piece and still be in prime position to compete for the championship. After all, nothing makes for a smooth transition like a brilliant floor general, and that's exactly what you get with Nash.
And the best part? Should the Nash experiment not work out, he's only under contract for a year. And even if it works out brilliantly, they could resign Nash for even less the next season, seeing as how he signed his last contract when he was still in his prime.
The bottom line is that a Dwight Howard deal is a Hail Mary and one that could work in the Lakers' favor. The Nash deal, however, is significantly more feasible and is a win-win for the Lakers.
Should the Lakers still go for Howard? Most definitely. Might they be smarter aiming for Nash? I think an argument can certainly be made for that.