The NBA has officially returned and David Stern is back on his B.S.
The opening to the NBA off-season this weekend has been nothing short of dramatic. Rumors have been flying left and right about where certain stars may end up by the start of the season. Dwight Howard and Chris Paul have been the main subjects of trade rumors, as experts and insiders have been doing everything within their power to get the inside scoop on where these two may land.
The Lakers, Hornets, and Rockets already submitted two trade proposals involving Chris Paul for league approval only for the first to be vetoed by David Stern himself and the second ended due to the Lakers pulling back from their previous agreement. After all that, there are still two big questions left unanswered as two disgruntled stars await a change of scenery.
What would be the best fit for Dwight Howard?
In my opinion, the best place for Dwight Howard at this stage in career is somewhere where he would be in an environment familiar with winning championships. That being said, the Los Angeles Lakers would be the best destination for Dwight Howard. Teaming a dominant inside presence like Howard in LA with a revamped Kobe Bryant could prove to be a lethal combination and just the adjustment necessary to put LA back on top of the Western Conference.
With the Lakers already planning to send Lamar Odom to Dallas, the two teams should create a three-way deal with Orlando that would also send Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum to Orlando in exchange for Brandon Bass, J.J. Reddick, and Shawn Marion (from Dallas) to LA. This trade could work out for all parties involved as the Mavericks would receive a versatile big man in Lamar Odom who is also slightly younger than Shawn Marion. The Magic would receive two 7-footers for the price of one from LA and the Lakers would get the superstar center they were looking for in Dwight Howard in addition to another big man and perimeter shooter in Bass and Reddick.
The only question mark that would remain for the Lakers would be their lack of depth and efficiency at the point guard position and no back-up center to play behind Howard. However, by holding on to Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest) the Lakers would have a solid trio of core components to work around through free agency. At the end of the day, the Lakers need to make an adjustment after coming up short last season and if Dwight Howard is available, I say go for it.
What would be the best fit for Chris Paul?
Chris Paul should also set his sights for life on the West Coast in Los Angeles. However, the Clippers would probably be the better choice for him. David Stern cancelled the previous deal that would have sent Paul to the Lakers due to the lack of youth being sent to the Hornets in exchange for Paul. That being said, the Clippers seem to have an endless supply of youth to offer.
If the Clippers would be able to keep Eric Gordon in a deal for CP3, they could end up making a name for themselves out West with a core group consisting of Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Eric Gordon, and DeAndre Jordan. The Clippers have already made moves to improve their depth by acquiring Caron Butler in free agency.
A starting five consisting of Chris Paul, Eric Gordon, Caron Butler, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan would prove to be one of the most athletically talented starting groups in the NBA. Fastbreaks would be a sight to behold with Chris Paul leading the way and Griffin and Jordan there to finish with electrifying dunks. Looking back to a few years ago, Chris Paul was able to lead a less talented Hornets team to within a game of the Western Conference Finals. With a more upgraded supporting cast, the Clippers could be a solid threat for quite some time.