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The Los Angeles Lakers are trying to pull off two of the biggest trades in NBA history. Rumor has it they are closing in on one. If the Lakers pull of the Paul and Howard trades, what will that mean for the rest of the NBA?
At first, we might be ready to hand the Larry O'Brien Trophy over to Kobe Bryant for the sixth time. However, the Lakers would face some of the same struggles the Heat had last year.
Trying to build a roster with a full offseason was difficult enough for Miami. The Lakers would have practically no time at all to re-stock a gutted roster. If they pull of the mega-trades, the Lakers would say goodbye to Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom for sure. Metta World Peace would probably be gone as well, as his most valuable asset these days is his amnesty clause-able contract. Who knows what other role players they would have to throw in to make the deals work?
By dealing Bynum, Gasol and Odom, the Lakers lose 21 feet of length, which was a strength for them in winning back-to-back NBA Finals. They would have no backup center for Howard, and be without a power forward on the roster. It is unlikely the backup center issue would be a factor until the playoffs, but what happens if Howard gets in foul trouble in a decisive game? There is no Odom anymore to stop the bleeding.
Then there is that whole chemistry thing. Granted, I believe a Howard/Paul/Kobe trio is a better fit than LeBron/Wade/Bosh, but the Lakers would have few practices to build a cohesive lineup. Even if the Lakers pull off the impossible, don't give give them the Dallas Mavericks' crown just yet.