Brett LoGiurato
Monday August 27th, 2012

Kevin Durant says the Lakers have the best team "on paper" heading into next season after adding Dwight Howard. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Kevin Durant echoed Chris Bosh on Sunday, suggesting that the Los Angeles Lakers are the NBA's best team and favorites to win next year's championship "on paper" after the offseason additions of point guard Steve Nash and center Dwight Howard.

"People outside, fans, media, of course they are going to say [the Lakers are the favorites] because on paper they have the best lineup in the league," Durant told Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears in an interview published Sunday. But you still got to play the games. We respect everybody. We are going to go through the league respecting everybody as well.

That means stars from both of the NBA's matched-up teams in the title last season — the Miami Heat's Bosh and the Oklahoma City Thunder's Durant — have suggested that the Lakers are the "on-paper" favorites heading into next season. Then again, both also suggested that the only thing that matters is who ends up on top next June.

"It was a great move for [the Lakers]," Durant said. "[Howard] is the most dominant center in the league. It's going to make it tough on other teams. But I like that challenge. We all like that challenge in OKC. It should be fun.
The Thunder, of course, knocked off the Lakers in the second round of last season's Western Conference playoffs. But that was before the Lakers added both Nash and Howard this offseason — the latter of which came in a blockbuster, four-team trade.

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