Dwight Howard Trade: Lakers Haven’t Passed Miami Heat as NBA Title Favorites

Los Angeles Lakers fans have a right to be excited after the team acquired Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic without even losing Pau Gasol. However, they should hesitate before calling their team the prohibitive favorites in the NBA. 

The Miami Heat should still remain atop the NBA totem pole, with the Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder duking it out for the second spot. 

Even with Dwight, Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and Pau in the same starting five, the Lakers haven't passed the Heat quite yet. 


Historical Precedent

The Los Angeles Lakers have made a living out of stealing centers away from less-fortunate teams and then winning championships with them on the roster and contributing heavily. 

First, it was Wilt Chamberlain who came over from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Lakers before the start of the 1968-1969 season. Next, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar decided that the Milwaukee Bucks weren't fulfilling his cultural needs and requested a trade to L.A. for the 1975-1976 season.

Shaquille O'Neal was the next NBA-best center to join forces with the Lakers, signing on with the squad before the 1996-1997 season after starting his career with the Orlando Magic. Now, Dwight Howard is moving to L.A.

Wilt, Kareem and Shaq all won titles with the Lakers, and Dwight is expected to do the same.

That said, each one failed to bring home the title during his first season in purple and gold. It took Wilt four seasons, Kareem five years and Shaq four.

Based on historical precedent alone, Dwight will need to wait a few years to add his name to the L.A. record books.  


Age and Injury History

The Lakers also have to worry about a couple of natural forces: the pesky injury imp and Father Time. 

Dwight's back is still a question mark and could hinder him tremendously during his f...

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