The Los Angeles Lakers have a championship core. This same group of players were responsible for two out of the past three titles, and even without the services of Phil Jackson, there’s every reason to believe that this team as-is can win another title with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum as its engine. But what comes after? The Lakers have begun looking to the future. They don’t just want to stay competitive towards the end of Kobe Bryant’s career, they want to transition seamlessly into their next phase of dominance.
And that means acquiring one of the big free agents in 2012, Dwight Howard or Chris Paul. Except they don’t want one of those two. They reportedly want both.
From Mark Heisler, who covered the Lakers as a beat writer before taking up with SheridanHoops.com:
When the NBA couldn’t get a full ban on sign-and-trades, it left his Lakers in position to pull off a coup they’re dreaming of, which would make signing LeBron James pale by comparison.
If Dwight Howard and Chris Paul wind up on the market — a safe assumption as far as I’m concerned — the Lakers could offer Andrew Bynum for Dwight and Pau Gasol for CP3, or vice versa.
Nothing says that they will be enough to land either player, but it should put the Lakers in the running for both.
Oh, and Dwight likes the Lakers. Asked which All-Star he would most like to play with last season, he answered “Kobe Bryant.”
© 2011, Brandon Wyche. All rights reserved.