Bryant, Gasol, Paul or James, Wade, Bosh: Which Trio Reigns?

Hadarii JonesSenior Writer IJuly 22, 2010

PHOENIX - FEBRUARY 15:  Chris Paul #3 and Kobe Bryant #24 of the Western Conference talk to each other during the 58th NBA All-Star Game, part of 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend at US Airways Center on February 15, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

With the announcement that Chris Paul was looking to be traded, and one of his preferences is the Los Angeles Lakers, a very interesting dynamic could develop if the Lakers somehow found a way to make a deal.

The addition of Paul would immediately make the Lakers a west coast version of the Miami Heat's super team, but would the star power of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Paul compare to LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade?

It's a given the Lakers would be the most talented team in the league if Paul were added, because they arguably have that distinction without him, but would the Lakers' potential power trio trump Miami's.

All six players are considered near the top of the NBA ladder at their respective positions, and in the case of Bryant, Wade, James, Paul, and Gasol, it could be argued they are the very best.

James exists on another planet when it comes to ranking the NBA's top small forwards, and even though Kevin Durant deserves to be in the conversation, James' versatility gives him an edge over Durant.

Most people consider him to be the best basketball player, and although that may be up for debate, he would definitely win his part of the bargain in any comparison of the six previously mentioned players.

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Wade and Bryant probably have the same type of strangle-hold on the shooting guard position as James does on the small forward, and even though it's hard to rate one player over the other, Bryant would get the nod in my opinion.

It's hard to argue with Bryant's five championships, and his drive is unrivaled especially when it comes to the postseason, where any potential Lakers-Heat showdown would occur.

Wade does many things very well, but Bryant may have an edge in man to man defense, and he is the best mid-range shooter in the game, a category where Wade has improved, but is still lacking.

When it comes to intangibles Bryant may stand alone, and probably has for the last decade, because few players have ever shown the type of competitive drive that Bryant has.

Because of that drive, if the trios were basically even I would give the Lakers an edge, but Paul and Gasol would make the argument a moot point, because they are possibly the best players at their positions.

No disrespect to Bosh, but his amazing numbers from last season where he averaged a 20-10 double-double was done within the confines of a poor Toronto team, while Gasol excelled in an offense with Bryant.

Gasol's game is more polished than any other big man in the league, besides Tim Duncan, and where Bosh's defense is questionable, Gasol's has been proved in the heat of playoff fire.

Bosh's ability to slide to the perimeter could create some problems for Gasol, but Gasol's strong paint game would likely offset the slim advantage Bosh would have on the perimeter.

The true trump card would be Paul, because the Miami Heat would have no player on their roster capable of staying in front of him, and switching James or Wade to him could prove disastrous.

Paul's addition to the Lakers would give Los Angeles not only one of the greatest trios in league history, but would probably complete one of the greatest teams to ever grace the hardwood.

Right now all of this is only speculation, but as in the case with the formation of Miami's super team, some truth may be found in most rumors.

I'm not sure if I agree with all of the league's top talent consolidating their skills to a handful of teams, but if this current trend becomes the norm, next season will be a lot more interesting, especially if the Lakers land Paul.