From gang hideouts to tanning salons, Lakers fans are buzzing about reports that have their team pursuing both Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.
I'm here to assure Celtics fans that the likelihood of Mitch Kupchak pulling off two mega-deals is remote.
Except there's a massive gap between "want" and "possible." Put aside questions of how much all this would cost, because currently that's the least important obstacle. As noted Monday afternoon, the Lakers are bereft of appealing trade pieces outside their "big three" of Bynum, Gasol, and Odom. As Yahoo! Sports reports, the Hornets aren't interested in Gasol as part of a deal for Paul. (Nor should they be. Nobody loves Pau more than me, but if I'm Dell Demps I don't accept a player over 28 in a CP3 swap unless his contract comes off the books right away, and then I'm demanding young talent, too.) That leaves Bynum as a centerpiece and as Andy pointed out, unless the rule saying otherwise is buried in parts of the new CBA that folks haven't gotten around to reading yet, Drew can't be traded to both the Hornets and the Magic.
Meaning the dream scenario for many Lakers fans is a virtual impossibility, save the most complicated multiteam trade in league history or monumentally bad work from Demps or Otis Smith in Orlando. Don't count on either.
More likely, if there's a genuine endgame in play, the Lakers are sending signals to both New Orleans and Orlando they're serious about making a deal if it's there, and the first team to jump on Bynum + _______ wins. I'd much rather make the swap for Howard. Paul is absurdly talented and the focus of this writer's enormous basketball man crush, but at 26 he's already dealing with a wonky left knee. Meanwhile, I'm fairly certain Howard is a robot.
Yes, the Lakers have assets, but not enough to pull off both deals. I will admit a Lakers team with Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol is pretty scary. At least for a year or two, until Kobe and Pau's legs go.