The Los Angeles Lakers are on the verge of collapse right now, as Magic Johnson pretty much bailed on them and Jeanie Buss completely out of the blue right before arguably the most important summer in franchise recent history.
No respectable free agent is going to want to have anything to do with this mess right now, but, considering their history and winning culture, they can still find the way to make the most of this situation and start from scratch.
This upcoming free agency features some of the most talented ballers in the world and they could virtually pursue anybody. But first, they need to really clean the house and putting on a lot of work in the front office.
Today, we’ll let you know about the next moves they need to do if they want to stop being the league’s laughing stock.
1. Fire Luke Walton
Magic Johnson is already out, so it’s time for Luke Walton to go as well. The Lakers need a better, more experienced coach capable of dealing with LeBron James, a guy he can look up to and respect, like Jason Kidd, Mark Jackson or even Tyronn Lue.
As a matter of fact, one of the reasons that made Magic Johnson step down as president of basketball operations was that he didn’t want to be the one to fire Luke Walton, a longtime protege of his.
2. Trade Lonzo Ball
With all the drama they have right now, the least they need is LaVar Ball talking smack back and forth. Lonzo has been great as a stopper and playmaker, but his offensive upside has been questionable, at best.
They don’t need another ball-handler with LeBron James in town, and, with all that’s going on with Lonzo, Big Baller Brand, his agent, his lawsuit and whatnot, they just can’t afford to have him on board right now. He’d like to play for the Suns, and that will be a perfect location for him. Get it done.
3. Trade Brandon Ingram And Kyle Kuzma
This one may really hurt Lakers fans, as Kyle Kuzma has been of the biggest steals we’ve seen in years. He’s been great, and it looks like he can be even better, but he’s the most tradeable asset they have right now.
As for Ingram, while he hasn’t been nearly half as good as expected, his potential may be enough to entice a rebuilding team. They want to get Anthony Davis, so they might as well pull the trigger, as young players don’t trust LeBron anyway. Damian Lillard or Devin Booker may be other realistic targets for them.
4. Offer Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard Or Kyrie Irving A Max Contract
Yes, the Lakers need to go all-in on top-tier free agents in the summer. It’s not going to be easy, especially considering what a mess they’ve made of themselves lately, but come on, it’s Los Angeles we’re talking about. Every star wants to be in LA.
Moreover, LeBron James is a great recruiter and while he hasn’t been as successful as of late, he still knows how to convince studs to join his cause. By all means, they must sign one of these three guys.
5. Alternative Signings: Jimmy Butler & DeMarcus Cousins
After cleaning the cap space and/or locking up a top-tier free agent, they must also pursue one of this year’s sleepers like Jimmy Butler or DeMarcus Cousins, a couple of incredibly talented players whose personality may be a huge question mark heading into the summer.
Butler could really make up for LeBron’s lack of defensive commitment, and Cousins is the big man they’ve been craving so much for years. Is a reach, but both of them are quite realistic targets for the Lakers, and they could play a major part in lifting this franchise back from the ground.