Los Angeles Lakers Trade Rumors: Do They Need Dwight Howard or Chris Paul More?

There are a choice few topics that have dominated conversation about the Los Angeles Lakers since Kobe Bryant and his bumbling band of basketball vagabonds stumbled to a four-game sweep at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the 2011 NBA Playoffs:

What went wrong, and who's to blame?

Who will replace Phil Jackson as the next coach of the Lakers?

And how will general manager Mitch Kupchak retool the roster, if he in fact chooses to do so?

That last bit of chatter has led to rampant speculation that the Lakers have targeted or will go after just about every superstar set to hit the free agent market in 2012, with Dwight Howard and Chris Paul as the most prominent and intriguing names of the bunch.

Now, there's certainly plenty of reason for haters and fans alike to balk at the prospect of "Superman" or CP3 in a Purple and Gold uniform next season; after all, the current roster is still pretty darn good and could very well contend for another NBA title given some slight adjustments on the fringes.

That being said, these are the Lakers we're talking about here, a franchise with a long history of making a big splash or two in the off-season and an aging superstar with only a year or two of high-level basketball left in him, if that.

And with an unusually long off-season in store, especially with the prospect of a league-wide lockout to start out the 2011-12 season, now is as good a time as ever to speculate as to which franchise player—Dwight Howard or Chris Paul—is a bigger "need" for the Lakers.


Chris Paul

Positionally speaking, the obvious choice here is Chris Paul. The Lakers haven't had an elite-level point guard since Magic Johnson (unless you count Nick Van Exel as "elite") and were helpless to stop just about anyone at the position this past season, with Paul, Jason Kidd and J.J. Barea being the most recent culprits...

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