During the off-season, the Los Angeles Lakers pulled out all the stops in their attempts to become legitimate NBA title contenders once again while preparing the franchise for the final years of the Kobe Bryant era.
As a result, the Lakers acquire two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash on July 4 via sign-and-trade with the Phoenix Suns and a month later brought in superstar center Dwight Howard by pulling off a four-team deal with the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets.
Although the Lakers’ front office were able to vastly improved the team on paper bringing in two proven superstars to play alongside Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace in the starting lineup, the results haven’t transcended to the floor with the team struggling after the first 24 games of the season.
Apparently, not only were the Lakers able to pull off two major trades in the off-season, but they might’ve been able to make a third deal for another star player heading to Los Angeles as a result. That star was forward Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks.
The Hawks reportedly reached out to the Lakers in an effort to get trade talks reignited with Gasol as the major centerpiece headed to Atlanta. The deal consisted of the Hawks sending Smith and point guard Devin Harris to Los Angeles in exchange for Chris Duhon and Gasol.
After acquiring Nash and Howard, along with the acquisitions of Jodie Meeks and Antawn Jamsion, the Lakers’ front office wasn’t looking to make anymore moves as Mitch Kupchak and company believed they had built a championship-caliber team. Unfortunately, this team has yet to prove that they’re truly a legitimate title contender or ever will be with the current squad intact.
One of the main reasons the Lakers may have not pulled the trigger on yet another blockbuster trade may have been Nash’s reluctance to sign a three-year deal with the team and or Kobe making it known that he wanted Gasol to remain in Los Angeles.
Regardless of the reasoning behind denying the trade proposal from the Hawks, Kupchak is likely regretting the move with the team’s recent struggles and need for youth and athleticism that Smith would’ve brought to the table.
Lakers Nation News
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