Does Steve Nash Make Lakers Contenders, or Does L.A. Need Dwight Howard?

The Los Angeles Lakers made perhaps the best move of the offseason when they traded for Steve Nash, and simply put, they do not need Dwight Howard to be considered contenders in 2013.

Howard is widely considered the league’s best center, and some team will be very happy with their acquisition this summer.

The Lakers, however, don’t need to be that team.

The move to bring in Nash gives Los Angeles arguably the best starting five in the NBA, as a lineup of Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum should be able to compete with any team in the league on any given night.

If you’re of the mindset that Gasol regressed in 2012, imagine him in pick-and-pop and pick-and-roll situations with Nash in control.

If you believe Bynum’s game is too iso-based on the block, just wait and see where Nash can get him the ball next year. The seven-footer made a run at becoming the league’s best center last season, and adding one of the best facilitators in the game should only help expand his versatility.

Questioning whether or not Bryant and Nash can mesh right away is fair, as both players seemingly need the ball in their hands to make plays.

However, they’re also great shooters who can score from multiple spots on the floor, and allowing Bryant to catch and shoot rather than isolate could be a pleasant change of pace for L.A. next year.

None of this is a knock on Howard. Adding him to the Lakers roster could realistically make that starting unit even better.

The problem is, it could also completely decimate a bench unit that struggled mightily throughout a good majority of last season.

Without knowing at this point exactly what Los Angles would have to give up in any impending deal, it’s difficult to picture exactly how this team would look with Howard in the middle.

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