Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka have tried to make like they are content with what they’ve got. Everyone knows that’s not the case. How can they be?
When you’ve got LeBron James, you’ve got a chance. But at 33-years-old, The King is running short on something he’s always had plenty of: time. Yes, with James, Los Angeles has to be considered in the running. Though, unless they acquire another star to go with him (no, not just good young players), they’ll never be considered the favorites.
As of now, the team has 3 more years to find a quality All-Star to put alongside LeBron. Even less if Father Time finally catches up with him.
So the biggest concern for the Lakers is not whether or not to pursue a big-name player, but who that big-name player might be.
Citing sources, Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher gave us reason to believe that Damian Lillard is a name we should watch out for in that regard.
The Lakers structured their salary cap to make sure they would have space next summer for a maximum-salaried player—whether he comes via free agency or trade. League sources say that when James became convinced Irving couldn’t be persuaded to stay in Cleveland, he suggested to the Cavs front office that it deal Irving to the Blazers for All-Star point guard Damian Lillard. The Cavs never called the Blazers, but James’ interest has led to speculation about the Lakers trading for Lillard.
Only the Cavs know why they never gave the Blazers a call. An Irving for Lillard deal certainly sounds a whole lot better than the one they got. Who knows, it might’ve been enough to keep James in town had they did.
For the Lakers, unlike the Cavs, that option is still in play. A Lonzo/Ingram pairing for Lillard might just be enough to get him in the Purple and Gold. Would they be better than how the Lakers have looked so far?
At this point, the Lakeshow will have to decide if sending off their young core is worth the prize of an All-Star point guard. Despite what you may think, that’s no easy decision to make.