X

NBA Trade Rumors: Lakers Landing Chris Paul and Dwight Howard Bad for the League

John Friel@@JohnFtheheatgodAnalyst IDecember 6, 2011

NEW ORLEANS - APRIL 24:  Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets guards Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at New Orleans Arena on April 24, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. 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 Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

If the TV station A&E can make an hour long show that deals with two hoarders and their problems of hoarding either caused by shopping or a build up of trash that needs an entire crew to be dispelled of, then perhaps NBATV can start their own special on the sudden craze of superstar hoarding.

Superstar hoarding has been taking over the NBA as of late with the Boston Celtics setting the tone in the 2007 offseason when they traded for Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to play alongside Paul Pierce. As a result of the three joining forces in Boston, the team would finish 65-17 and would win a championship for the first time since 1986 while bringing the Celtics back into the spotlight and giving three future Hall of Famers the championships that they had been working for with above average teams.

A few years later, the Miami Heat would follow in suit by becoming the second team to form a big three of sorts by bringing in LeBron James and Chris Bosh to play alongside Dwyane Wade. This one didn't go as smoothly as the Celtics since Boston's big three all had a specific niche as well as a pure point guard in Rajon Rondo, but the Heat did finish 58-24 and would make it to the NBA Finals in their first season.

The Knicks plan on doing the same thing and are two-thirds of the way there with Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony currently on the team. The team isn't planning on stopping there as they intend to court Chris Paul in order to form a big three with "Stat," "Melo," and CP3. They wouldn't have too much money to surround the three, but hey, it's another big three and that seems to be the key to success.

Of course, having a big three isn't the answer because teams need to have at least a few role players contributing. The Heat's downfall and the Celtics success were based on the play of their role players as Miami dealt with Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem being hurt while Boston had Rajon Rondo and Glen Davis among others to rely on during their championship run.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Now we can add the Los Angeles Lakers to the mix as they intend to start up another big three by adding Dwight Howard and Chris Paul to play alongside Kobe Bryant. This may just be the top big three as of yet as they have the true floor general in Paul, the primary scorer and clutch asset in Bryant, and the post presence in Howard which would make this a perfect big three.

This big three would be extremely difficult to obtain, however, as the Lakers are currently $30 million over the salary cap and would still be in a tough situation even if they do manage to let go of the bloated contracts of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. If anyone can make it happen though, it would be Jerry Buss and the Lakers and they have a number of intangibles to thank which includes the fact that they're the Lakers, the appeal of being in Los Angeles, and the Kobe Bryant factor.

To rule anything out as an impossibility in this league is foolish and that was proved last offseason when the Heat signed LeBron James and Chris Bosh while also keeping Dwyane Wade. Superstars are willing to take pay cuts in order to win games and that includes some of the biggest names in the game.

Basically, these big threes are intended to make life easier for superstars. Rather than facing off against each other and fighting for a title, these stars decide that it would be easier to win a title by joining their competition and relying on each other. These three players then take pay cuts in order for the team to sign some role players and then you got your powerhouse team.

Many advocates of the NBA are against the idea of the big threes because they believe in the traditional creation of a team that usually consists of a superstar, an All-Star or two, and some quality role players to surround the superstar. Championship teams will have a big three (San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, L.A. Lakers, etc.), but they were created before the players became stars as they would develop into championship caliber players.

Big threes are formed by already proven players which is why many will consider it unfair and bad for the NBA. Having three superstars will make a team better no matter what they're surrounded by. The Heat had Mario Chalmers and James Jones as their two best players after the big three last year and that team won 58 games which proves to you just how much of an influence the big three have over their supporting cast.

This is considered bad for the NBA mostly because of how unfair it is to the teams that can't pull off feats like acquiring two superstars to accompany their superstar. With the salary cap nearly at $60 million, signing three players to deals at $15 million apiece is a difficult premise to create as many players would rather go for the $20 million that they're offered elsewhere.

It's difficult to make happen because of the money and it's even more difficult to convince superstars to play with each other, give up the spotlight, and then take less money. You'll win your fair share of games, but a championship isn't a guarantee and you have no idea on whether or not this is going to work out. After all, one significant injury to a member of a big three and the season could be done right there.

The main reason why this is a bad idea is because of the separation it puts between the larger market teams and the smaller market teams in the standings. With teams like the New York Knicks, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers having a monopoly on all of the superstars in the league, it leaves developing teams like the Charlotte Bobcats and Sacramento Kings out of luck as they don't have the money or talent to bring in superstars.

Say that Dwight and Chris go to the Lakers. If you consider the top 10 NBA players to consist of, in no order, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, Carmelo Anthony, Deron Williams, Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant then that means you have six of those 10 being on three teams.

If six of the league's top 10 players are split up on only three teams, you're going to have a tremendous parity in the league between those three teams and the rest of the league. Teams like the Houston Rockets or Indiana Pacers can spend all the money they possibly have, but they're not going to go far if all of the superstars are hoarded on a few teams that are dominating the league.

Assume that Howard and Paul join Bryant on the Lakers, who would have a legitimate shot at beating them? The Oklahoma City Thunder may be the only team in the Western Conference to even defend that because they can match up with them as well as having one of the few centers that can defend Howard at an efficient rate in Kendrick Perkins.

So where does that leave the likes of the Rockets, Clippers and Warriors? Out of luck because they're not going to be able to attract any superstars because they're all signed for at least another four years on three teams.

As entertaining as it would be to see Chris Paul throwing up alley-oops to Dwight Howard, we have to recognize that all of these big threes popping up around the league cannot be a good thing. Teams can't hoard superstars for their own self gain as their needs to be some sort of competition between the elite teams and the rest of the league.

With the teams in better financial order picking up all of the superstars, it leaves the smaller market teams at a disadvantage and unable to compete with the elite.

slash iconYour sports. Delivered.

Enjoy our content? Join our newsletter to get the latest in sports news delivered straight to your inbox!