Would the Lakers Have Won a Title with Chris Paul?

Now that the Los Angeles Lakers have been eliminated from the postseason, it's the perfect time to look back on the season and ask what if.

There are so many questions the Lakers can go back and say what if this went our way?

But perhaps no what if question could define the 2012 season for the Lakers as much as would the Lakers have won a title had David Stern not nixed the original Chris Paul trade.

I think it's safe to make the assumption that at a minimum, they would still be playing.

For those that don't remember what went down before the season began, the Lakers, Houston Rockets and New Orleans Hornets agreed in principal to a trade that would have sent Paul to the Lakers, Pau Gasol to the Rockets and furnished New Orleans with three solid NBA players in Kevin Martin, Luis Scola and Lamar Odom.

In addition, the Hornets would have received an up-and-coming guard in Goran Dragic and a 2012 first-round pick that Houston had acquired from the Knicks.

Of course, David Stern nixed that trade, and Paul ultimately ended up with the Clippers, but how would the Lakers have fared in 2012 if Paul would have been in a Lakers uniform?

It would have filled a season-long weakness at the point guard spot for sure.

While the Lakers would have had to account for the loss of the outstanding production from Gasol (17.4 PPG, 10.4 RPG), they also would have been able to phase out lousy output of Steve Blake and Derrick Fisher in favor of Paul's phenomenal numbers (19.8 PPG, 9.1 APG).

There also wouldn't have been a Ramon Sessions trade, as Lakers fans wouldn't have had to watch him struggle in the postseason.

Reverse all the trades that happened after the Paul trade was nixed, and you would have to like the Lakers chances.

Sure, they would have lost that valuable length in Gasol, but replacing it with a point guard such as Paul that ...

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