CP3 or Dwight? The Laker Debate
It appears that the NBA has recently entered the “super team” era. Many, if not most, of the leagues best players are seeking to, or have already, formed alliances.
When LeBron held primetime television hostage in order to announce that he was signing with the Heat, he started a trend, some may even call it a revolution. Soon after, Amare and Melo teamed up, and Boozer went to play with D Rose.
Now, the Lakers want Chris Paul and Dwight Howard. But, let’s face it, getting both is not possible. Every team in the NBA is not the Memphis Grizzlies, who practically gift wrapped Pau and had their mom drive him over to the Staples Center. The Lakers are gonna have to choose between CP3 and Dwight. So, who is the better option for LA?
Let’s start with the basics, Kobe is not going anywhere, Derek Fisher is no longer starter quality, Lamar Odom would rather eat candy and hang out with Rob Kardashian than play hoops, Pau is soft, and Bynum is a talented, injury prone large person.
Now, who would make the Lakers better, Paul or Howard? And what would LA have to give up in order to attain either one of them? In my opinion, Los Angeles would have to give up Odom, Steve Blake, Bynum and some cash in order to get Chris Paul. The Lakers would have to give up about the same thing for Dwight, except maybe sub in Shannon Brown for Steve Blake, or Pau for Odom, but either way, the Lakers are losing some solid big men, a guard, and a lump sum.
If I were Mitch Cupcheck (yes that’s his real last name), the Lakers’ GM, I would put all my eggs in Chris Paul’s proverbial basket. Think about it, while Dwight is a beast on the boards and defense, what can he really do offensively that Pau or Bynum cannot do? Dwight can dunk from the free throw line and change clothes in a phone booth, but he can’t hit a 15 foot jumper. What big men would Dwight absolutely need to shut down in the Western Conference in order for LA to make it to the Finals? Yao’s gone, Tim Duncan is older now, Tyson Chandler is just decent, the Blazers will inevitably be riddled with injury, the Thunder have Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka, who are two offensive duds, and I’m sorry, but if you can’t beat Pau’s little brother and Zach Randolph in Memphis, you don’t deserve a ring. CP3 can score at will, pass the rock with uncompromised precision, and defend. Albeit, his defensive skills may not be all-pro quality, but when he wants to, he can turn it on and pick people’s pockets. Also, if LA ends up facing Miami in The Finals, the Heat would have no answer for CP3, although the same point could be argued for Dwight. I would much rather run with CP3, Kobe, and any one of the Laker’s 3 movable big guys, than Steve Blake, Kobe, any one of the Laker’s 3 movable big guys, and Dwight.
However, there is a wildcard in this situation, as Dan Patrick pointed out earlier today during his radio show. The NBA owns the Hornets, and are they going to willingly trade CP3 and leave the Hornets superstar-less, and therefore, irrelevant? Maybe, maybe not. Also, who’s to say that New Orleans or Orlando are even considering trading their best player to LA? All we’ve heard is that the Lakers want Paul and Howard. For some reason, the Lakers have this aura about them, it seems like they should just be able to get any player they want. I mean come on New Orleans and Orlando, give ’em your franchise player, he’s definitely not signing back with you, and they are the Los Angeles Lakers, they get what they want, right?
I have an idea, how about Chris Paul and Dwight Howard honor their contracts and shut their mouths. They need to let their teams decide if they want to trade them for value, or play Russian Roulette and just hope that they re-sign. However, teams are very scared to do the latter, because as we saw in Cleveland, LeBron left the Cavs devastated and weeping.
The Celtics wouldn’t have won their ring without a great point guard like Rondo, and the Mavs wouldn’t have won theirs without lights out shooting. Chris Paul brings both of those characteristics to the table. Either Pau or Bynum are decent enough to take the Laker’s far, with Kobe and Paul at the reins. But as we saw with the Heat, if there’s no one to dish the rock, it doesn’t matter if the best two players in the world are on your team (literally), you’re going to lose.
Don’t get me wrong, LA would be better than they are now with Dwight, but not as good as they could be with Paul. Only time will tell what happens, maybe the Lakers will end up with neither of them, but it sure seems like LA will get what they want. Hopefully they make the right choice and go for CP3, because Superman has already been to Hollywood, and none of his movies were even that good.