By: Justin Welton
Move over Miami Heat, there is a new favorite to win the NBA title. Not one, not two, not three…you get the point.
According to Brian Kamenetzky of ESPNLosAngeles.com, the Lakers have acquired Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic in a 4-team deal. Philadelphia and Denver were the other teams involved in the trade; Philadelphia received Andrew Bynum. Orlando grabbed three first round picks and a couple quality players in return.
What does this mean for Los Angeles next year? Obviously, at least to me, it makes them favorites to not only represent the Western Conference but to win the NBA championship.
If the Lakers consist of any weakness throughout its roster, it would be guard depth. Steve Blake and Andrew Goudelock are capable role players off the bench, but the Lakers need more than what they can provide on a game-by-game basis. While the Lakers can still win a title next year, adding a guard for the bench would give them a better opportunity of doing so.
Los Angeles’ biggest downfall even after trading for Steve Nash was their inability to defend the rim. Teams could dash and gash the Lakers in pick-and-rolls and pick-and-pop situations, and while that still may occur, it won’t be nearly as often with the best defensive player in the NBA residing in the paint.
Howard — still believing that he’s slightly overrated — gives the Lakers a much better opportunity to win a ring than Andrew Bynum. Los Angeles will lose a ton offensively, but they don’t need that how the roster is currently built. They needed somebody who can protect the rim, eat up double teams on the block and a guy who you can count on. Bynum wasn’t that guy on a game-by-game basis.
They didn’t have that, but now they do. The sky is the limit.
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