For the Lakers, the future seems all but irrelevant with LeBron James and Anthony Davis ready to win now. But with so much uncertainty regarding these next few seasons, might L.A. feel obligated to prepare now for some opportunities in the future?
In an article by Forbes writer Gabe Zaldivar, the Lakers might be better off looking ahead to the summer of 2021, when Giannis Antetokpunmpo becomes an unrestricted free agent.
“For the Lakers, there is just one Plan A, luring Giannis and saving the rest of the cap space for Plan B,” Zaldivar speculated. “One could argue the Lakers have already started their courtship with their acquisition of Antetokounmpo’s brother Kostas.”
The acquisition of Kostas may have been an attempt by the Lakers to open the door of a possible contract with Giannis later. Either way, it’s clear that L.A. has at least entertained the idea of bringing him on. LeBron James can opt-out that summer, Anthony Davis may not even be around by then, and the franchise will have an overload of cap space yet again.
Practically, if somehow Giannis joins with both AD and LeBron still on the team (assuming LBJ takes some kind of pay cut at this point), it would not be hard to picture how things could work. Davis’ stroke from deep could make up for the lack of distance scoring from Giannis, and LeBron would facilitate the offense in a point-forward role.
It’s clearly a dream come true, and one that’s still years away from even being possible. But with a guy like Giannis, it’s never too soon to start planning.