We are one day away from the beginning ofNBA free agency and the talks have already started. While there are bound to be quite a few deals worked between different teams, two players are destined to monopolize all the free agency talks. The two players that I speak of are Dwight Howard and Chris Paul. Howard and Paul are both looking to leave their current teams for greener pastures. No one knows where the two all-stars will land but the speculation is they are looking to play for the same team.
Rumors were flying not too long ago that Chris Paul or CP3 had requested a trade to the New York Knicks. While it would be great to see Chris Paul, Carmello Anthony, and Amare Stoudemire create another, “Dream Team”, in New York, the more intriguing rumor is the Lakers are reportedly interested in both players. The Lakers have said that no player on their roster is off limits besides Kobe Bryant. This means Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum, Ron Artest aka Metta World Peace, Pao Gasol, and Derek Fisher are all trade bait.
The Los Angeles Lakers are sacrificing a great deal to acquire Dwight Howard and Chris Paul but in the end it will be all worth it. The trio of Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, and Dwight Howard reminds me of the days of the “Showtime” Lakers. In the 80’s and 90’s the Los Angeles Lakers had arguably the best point guard in the league in Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the best center in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and a great forward in James Worthy. If the Los Angeles Lakers acquire Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, they will again have, if not the best point guard, at least one of the top five point guards in the league. In addition, the Los Angeles Lakers will have the best center in the league in Dwight Howard. Moreover, the Los Angeles Lakers will have maybe the most lethal scorer in the league in Kobe Bryant as well. The Lakers would be a favorite to win the Western Conference and make it all the way to the NBA Finals this year.
Chris Paul and Dwight Howard both want to be on a team where they can compete for a NBA championship. Both Paul and Howard have tried winning it all with their current teams and both players have failed to be the one that hoists the championship trophy up in the air at the end of the season. If either or both players are to have a chance at accomplishing the goal of being an NBA champion, this year is the time that Chris Paul and Dwight Howard need to find the team that can help them reach the Promised Land.
If the Los Angeles Lakers cannot get the right deal worked out, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard could both go to separate teams. Besides the previously mentioned possibility of a Chris Paul trade to the New York Knicks, the options for landing on a true championship contending team are very slim. The remaining teams either do not have the cap space to be able to offer the kind of contract Chris Paul or Dwight Howard would require or the teams do not have the talent needed to win an NBA championship. This leaves Chris Paula and Dwight Howard going to teams that may or may not be better than their current teams.
When the free agency smoke clears, we will see where both all stars have landed. We will then be able to assess whether Chris Paul and Dwight Howard have made the right move to take their career to the next level. However, we may see that like many of the free agents this year, both players might end up in unexpected places with their future championship hopes looking dimmer and not brighter.