By now you must be sick of hearing about the news that Dwight Howard is coming to the Lakers in a massive four-team trade that was submitted on Thursday night, putting a conclusion to months of speculation about whether or not the All-World center would be moved from the Orlando Magic.
Now officially a Laker, the player known as Superman, will torment the NBA alongside a cast that includes arguably the greatest player in league history in Kobe Bryant, and also the newly acquired Steve Nash, who is fully expected to glide in and around defenses, creating infinite opportunities for both Kobe and Dwight.
While the Lakers could still deal Pau Gasol, they shouldn’t, unless the return could be enough to fill several holes. Although, that doesn’t sound likely to happen.
Adding Dwight to the front-court immediately boosts Gasol’s value, as does the presence of Nash. In fact, I feel that Pau benefits the most from this trade than any of the aforementioned Lakers superstars.
Sure Pau has been labeled as soft, and crumbles under pressure, but he is no longer the featured of the Lakers’ bigs, taking a back seat to the unquestioned more talented Howard.
Where teams might normally double-team Dwight in the post, that may be yet a game plan of the past, as Nash will be able to craft enough ball movement to the point where not only Dwight will see better shots down low, but we will also see Pau get to utilize that range he loves to flash every now and then.
Imagine a seven-footer pulling to within 20-feet, and nailing jumpers with ease?
If not, there is still Kobe and company.
Should they miss a shot? Guess what? Two trees are waiting to pounce towards the ball, and outlet a pass to the Lakers sharpshooters, that will surely get the job done. And still, if not, you better believe that they will third and fourth chances when Pau and Dwight patrol the boards yet again.
On defense, the post is almost certainly a place where opposing teams will want to avoid, and for those who dare, prepare to be swatted.
While the Lakers are still not perfect, they took another step towards becoming the favorites to represent the Western Conference in next year’s finals.
Some may have clamored for Pau to be dealt instead of Andrew Bynum, but I feel that in five years fans will be able to look back at this deal, and feel comfortable that not only did the Lakers get a franchise player and rid themselves of a potential letdown, but they also secured themselves at least a ring (and hopefully more than that).
It’s your move LeBron James. What the Heat lack, the Lakers now more than make up for, and then some.
Look for the Lakers to finish up their magnificent off-season by shoring up the bench, and solidifying the depth of the franchise, fully equipping them as they chase banner No. 17.