The Los Angeles Lakers stole the headlines on Thursday and Friday, completing their long rumored courting of superstar center Dwight Howard. The four-team trade has put the Lakers near the Miami Heat in terms of championship contention, at least according to the gambling experts.
The Heat are 5/2 favorites to win it all in 2013, but the Lakers are close behind at 3/1, per Bovada. SB Nation's own Ben Golliver called the Lakers arguably the favorite in the NBA for 2012-2013.
In his analysis of the trade, Golliver liked the addition of Howard on both ends of the floor. Howard is a three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year who will help on defense, but he will help on offense, too.
"They've got pick and rolls galore with Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. If teams collapse on Howard, Nash is a knock-down shooter," Golliver said. "It creates all sorts of space for Kobe Bryant to operate. He could do a high-low game with Pau Gasol passing to Dwight Howard on the block."
For more news and analysis of Howard to the Lakers, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.