First, Los Angeles sent multiple draft picks to Phoenix in exchange for Steve Nash. A month later, they finally completed a deal to acquire Dwight Howard. L.A. sent Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia in a four-way trade that netted them the center.
Both players are expected to help the Lakers compete for a championship next year, but which superstar will have a bigger impact on the team's success?
Howard is certainly a better player than Nash.
The All-Star is the best center in the NBA. He's made the All-NBA First Team for five straight years and averaged 20.6 points and 14.5 rebounds per game in his final season with Orlando.
The acquisition of Howard gives L.A. the most dominant frontcourt in the league. Along with Pau Gasol, the two seven-footers give the Lakers two of the best low post scorers around.
While Howard is an upgrade over Bynum, he's probably replacing the best center in the Western Conference from last year. Bynum surpassed Gasol as the team's best big man, averaging career highs with 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per contest.
After the Howard trade, the Lakers went from very good to great at center. Nash, on the other hand, gives Los Angeles a tremendous upgrade at point guard.
L.A. hasn't had a point guard as good as Nash since Magic Johnson in the early 1990's. They traded for Ramon Sessions before last year's deadline. He was an improvement over Derek Fisher, but wasn't more than an average starter.
The Lakers were really hurt by not having a top flight point guard in the playoffs. Sessions averaged just 6.8 points and 3.0 assists in their series against the Thunder, along with 2.4 turnovers per contest. Having Russell Westbrook at the point gave Oklahoma City a major advantage, and maybe the series would have gone longer than five games if Nash was on the team.
Kobe Bryant finished just one percentage point behind Kevin Durant for the scoring title in the lockout-shortened season. Despite his 27.9 points per game, Bryant wasn't as productive as he had been in years passed, shooting just 43 percent from the field.
At this stage of his career, Bryant would benefit greatly from having a point guard that's as good as Nash.
Nash gives L.A. a dynamic they haven't had in two decades. Howard is the team's best center since Shaquille O'Neal, but they were already solid at the position.
On the defensive side, however, Howard will bring a lot more to the table than Nash. The former Magic star has won three Defensive Player of the Year awards. Nash is a future Hall of Famer, but is also considered to be a liability on defense.
Both Nash and Howard have a history of winning, even with subpar talent around them. Howard led the Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals. Nash led the Suns to three conference finals appearances, and almost took a depleted Phoenix team to the playoffs last year.
No matter which one has the bigger impact, both will make the Lakers the favorites in the West to reach the NBA Finals.