Sure, Paul would have addressed the Lakers' need for help at the lead guard position, but NBA commissioner David Stern's rejection of the Paul-to-Lakers deal may have inadvertently paved the way for a Lakers deal for Orlando center Dwight Howard.
And while Paul certainly helps the Lakers in the short term, is there a better future plan for the Lakers franchise than the best big man in the game today?
The competition for Howard's services will surely be a torrid affair, and the Lakers hold a definite advantage in potential negotiations if they choose to use all of the resources at their disposal.
Unfortunately, forward Lamar Odom figured to be a major component in Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak's plan to land Howard, and his recent trade to the Dallas Mavericks changes those plans. But not necessarily for the worse.
Kupchak's decision to trade Odom may have killed any deal for Paul, but it may have increased the urgency and the probability of the Lakers landing Howard.
I have compiled a slideshow that explains the top three reasons the Lakers are still Howard's best free-agency destination, and if the Lakers and Kupchak are serious about acquiring him, why Magic general manager Otis Smith will not find a better deal.