Los Angeles has, for the last 4 decades, been the most attractive destination for a player to play in. LA has Hollywood, amazing weather and an unrivaled history of constant success. The Lakers have 16 titles to their name which is only bested by their bitter East-Coast rivals in Boston.
LA has prised many a star from their original organization to come to play in the purple and gold over the decades. Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard and LeBron James all left the team that drafted them to go play under the bright lights of the Staples Center.
LeBron is the latest of this trend and has brought with him a sense of excitement and expectation the Lakers haven’t felt since 2013. They will be looking to win a title whilst LeBron is playing for them.
At the moment I don’t see them competing against the likes of the Warriors. GSW is simply too good and the Lakers (apart from LeBron) are lacking in star-level firepower. They need at least another top 10/15 player on their roster before they can even begin to think about challenging for a chip.
It seems very unlikely that they will acquire a star this year and so will have to wait till 2019 for a real chance to land some studs. Here are 3 combinations I think the Lakers could create in the summer of 2019.
3. Anthony Davis, Jimmy Butler, LeBron James
Jimmy Butler doesn't want to play for the Timberwolves and recently he has requested a trade. Butler only has 1 year left on his contract and has personally stated that he would like to play with LeBron James.
Davis has 2 years left on his contract as of now but come next season if the Pelicans have slipped then he opts to pressure New Orleans into trading him to go play for a contender. Davis now also has the same agent as LeBron which makes things very interesting indeed. The trio of James, Davis and Butler would certainly be enough to mount a serious title push. Davis would patrol the inside with James setting him up and Butler would play great defense and offense on the wing.
2. Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James
Kawhi having been newly traded to Toronto may feel that the Raptors are a franchise stuck in mediocrity. He was raised in California so playing in LA would be as close to home as possible for him.
Butler, as stated above, wants to contend for a title and may not feel that the Timberwolves are the right team for the job. These 3 would form an overwhelmingly dominant defensive force. LeBron is still a great defender when he has to be and Butler and Kawhi are 2 of the best in the business. Even though some reports said that Kawhi and Butler don't want to play in the same team with LeBron James, at this moment that is just a rumor.
1. Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, LeBron James
This would be every Lakers dream.
Durant will be a free agent again next summer and has shown he doesn’t care about money, only winning. Klay will also be a free agent and will be seeking a max contract which he definitely deserves.
Klay’s Dad Mychal Thompson has publically said that he wants Klay to come to play for the Lakers. Should the Warriors win it all again this year then maybe Durant will want to play elsewhere and LA is the ultimate destination for any star.
This trio would surely win it all as all 3 are amazing offensive players and are all solid defensive players as well. This would also cripple GSW as 2 of their 5 stars would be taken away and that would surely end the total dominance the Warriors have had over the NBA.