So it has been reported by numerous NBA Insiders that the Los Angeles Lakers are going are both Dwight Howard and Chris Paul. But just exactly how are they going to get both of them? In 2010, the NBA salary cap was set at $58.044 million. Now with the new labor agreement, there has been no say in what the salary cap will be. All we know is that it will be a soft cap. A soft cap allows teams to go over the salary cap. So, let’s say that the salary cap for the season will be $60 million. The Lakers have ten players under contract, worth a total of $89,207,027. So, they are almost $30 million over the cap and they will own Luke Walton $11.5 million this year so that number is actually $95,027,027 now. They won’t be able to sign either Howard or Paul, so the most likely scenario would be trading for both players. Now the Lakers are more than likely going to use the amnesty clause on Walton and let him go, and if he retires, then that $11.5 gets wiped clean off the books. Now they are back down to $83,527,027. The Lakers are also thinking about cutting Ron Artest, but they have to deal with Walton first. The Lakers do have some trade assets, but do they have enough? Perhaps, they could send Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom and, possibly, a first-round pick to Orlando in exchange for Howard. The Magic, more than likely, do not want Pau Gasol. They would need a “true” center, such as Bynum, for the deal to go anywhere. Let’s say the Lakers trade both Bynum and Odom, along with a first-round pick to Orlando for Dwight Howard. Who do they have left to trade for Paul? The New Orleans Hornets would want Gasol, for sure, and maybe 2011 first-round pick Darius Morris, along with a future first-round pick and cash. If the Lakers made those two trades and amnestied Walton, that would leave them with a roster of eight players, with a mid-level exception left to sign another solid free agent. They would have their three stars, but it would come at a price. Dealing for one of them would be wiser than making a push for both of them.