Chris Paul Trade Rumors: Lakers Smart to Make Dwight Howard Primary Target

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
Chris Paul Trade Rumors: Lakers Smart to Make Dwight Howard Primary Target
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers made a very smart decision to pull out of the Chris Paul trade talks on Saturday and shift their focus to acquiring Dwight Howard, who will help the team win a championship more than Paul would.

It now seems that the Lakers will have to battle the New Jersey Nets in trying to come up with the most attractive offer to give the Orlando Magic for Howard.

Adding Paul would have been good for the Lakers but it is not what they needed. The team has won five NBA championship since the early 2000s and none of them came with an elite or even star point guard.

Derek Fisher was the point guard on all those title teams, and the reason L.A. won those Finals series was because of their frontcourt, primarily center Shaquille O'Neal.

Who will help the Lakers win a title more?

Submit Vote vote to see results

The Lakers are at their best when they dominate the paint, and with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol they have the best PF/C combo in basketball.

Having two seven-foot players like that who can score well, rebound and block shots, makes you incredibly tough to beat. Having Bynum and Gasol causes real matchup problems for almost every NBA team.

Acquiring Howard would give the Lakers the best big man in the game and someone who would dominate at both ends of the floor.

In an era of NBA basketball where there are few real dominating centers, acquiring Howard gives the Lakers a huge advantage over the rest of the league.

Center is the most important position in basketball, and even though acquiring a player like Paul would have been awesome for the Lakers, doing so and really hurting the strength of their frontcourt would have been a poor move. 

Defense and rebounding win games in the playoffs, and without Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom (both included in original Paul deal) the Lakers would have struggled on the boards. They could not have trusted Andrew Bynum and his often injured knees to be responsible for the bulk of the rebounding.

Which position is more important to LA?

Submit Vote vote to see results

It will be difficult to acquire Howard over the Nets, but this challenge will be far more rewarding if they succeed.

The Lakers could have maybe won in the short term with Paul, but with Howard they would be major contenders now and for many years to come. 

The difficulties in landing Paul will be a blessing in disguise for the Lakers, who now will turn their attention to landing the league's best center.

Having basketball's best big man is a strategy that has worked many times for the franchise, with it being the primary reason L.A. has won 10 titles since 1980.

 

Nicholas Goss is an NBA Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report

Load More Stories

Follow Los Angeles Lakers from B/R on Facebook

Follow Los Angeles Lakers from B/R on Facebook and get the latest updates straight to your newsfeed!

Out of Bounds

Los Angeles Lakers

Subscribe Now

We will never share your email address

Thanks for signing up.