Only one can imagine what the NBA would be like without any sort of parity. Especially for a franchise like the Los Angeles Lakers, it seems like they have had all the best players throughout NBA history. Of course, that isn't true but it would be interesting to see if the Lakers were not tied to any particular salary cap.
Let's face it, the Lakers are one of the flashiest franchises and truly one of the most popular sports teams that have ever existed. If they had a $100 million salary cap, how would their team look like today?
We have four rules:
- Best Player From Team Automatically Chosen (LeBron James)
- Maximum 2 Players From Any Team
- Maximum 3 Rookie Players
- Maximum $100 Million Salary Cap
Starting with the signing of current superstar LeBron James, it is time to create the perfect Lakers team with a $100 Million salary cap limit. In order to recreate showtime and create an NBA monopoly built in Los Angeles, here are the players chosen for the $100 million Lakers squad.
Damian Lillard - $29,802,321
An easy pick for the point guard position is Damian Lillard. He is a bonafide superstar offensive player, averaging 28.9 PPG and 7.8 APG for the Portland Trail Blazers. His ability to shoot the ball from anywhere on the court match as well alongside LeBron James, and he would be the clutch shot taker and maker for this team.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander - $3,952,920
SGA has a promising future with no ceiling to his potential. Gilgeous-Alexander has great size for a point guard and has shown the ability to pass the ball and attack the rim with explosiveness. SGA's athleticism and overall game perfectly complement Damian Lillard and the other players on the roster, so his talent would be very welcomed in the squad.
Donovan Mitchell - $3,635,760
Mitchell is a fantastic performer and the likely starter at the shooting guard position when LeBron James plays small forward. Mitchell can play well on both ends and has proven he shines brightest in big games. He's averaging 24.2 PPG for a title-contending Jazz squad and has basically put Utah on the map with his play. LeBron and Lillard will absolutely love playing with Mitchell who is very similar to a young Dwyane Wade.
Devonte' Graham - $1,416,852
Graham is likely the Most Improved Player this year, averaging 18.2 PPG and 7.5 APG for a depleted Charlotte Hornets team. His shooting and playmaking will fit nicely in this squad, and he would be a fantastic performer when the Lakers go small with three guards in the lineup.
Terence Davis - $898,310
Davis has played extremely well for the Toronto Raptors this season and has been a great pickup for them. Davis will play minor minutes in this team that is stacked with talent, but his shooting and three-point scoring (39% from three) will come in handy when needed.
LeBron James - $37,436,858
No question, LeBron James will be signed to the squad even with his massive salary eating into the hundred million dollar budget. He is still the best player in the game today and the best leader for the Los Angeles Lakers. With the team full of star power and high earners, LeBron shines brightest and he will be able to lead this team into the promised land.
Zion Williamson - $9,757,440
There wouldn't be this Lakers Showtime team without Zion Williamson. He is one of the most hyped players and one of the best talents in the NBA right now. In fact, he has already arrived as an All-Star by putting up 23.6 PPG and 6.8 RPG in 29.7 MPG. Williamson will likely start at the four spot when LeBron man's the point, so this would be extremely exciting to watch.
Pascal Siakam - $2,351,838
Siakam was a Western Conference starter this year in the All-Star Game, and he sincerely deserves it. His 23.6 PPG and 7.5 RPG average are among the best at his position, and he plays hard on both ends. Siakam would get a ton of minutes in this squad when LeBron plays point guard, so he is a great addition to this Lakers team.
Eric Paschall - $898,310
The Warriors have been an afterthought this season without Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, but Paschall has been a bright spot. His 13.9 PPG and 4.6 RPG average are impressive considering he only plays 27.6 MPG. Paschall can be a productive scorer for the Lakers squad behind the three All-Star forwards.
Carmelo Anthony - $2,159,029
This is not the Denver Nuggets or New York Knicks Melo who drops 30 in his sleep, but he is still a capable scorer who is averaging 15.3 PPG for the Trail Blazers this year. Anthony is a very suitable backup for this Lakers team because he brings a bit of flash and style to the game that suits this new Showtime Lakers squad.
Dwight Howard - $5,603,850
Howard seems at his happiest playing in Los Angeles right now, probably because he doesn't have the pressure of following in the footsteps of Wilt Chamberlain or Shaquille O'Neal anymore. He is now a role player who can do what he does best, rebound and play defense. Howard has played very well this season, averaging 7.5 PPG and 7.4 RPG in 19.2 minutes of play so he gets the nod for this team.
Mitchell Robinson - $1,559,712
The Knicks have not been a good team for a few years, but athletic center Mitchell Robinson has been one bright spot for them. He is putting up 9.7 PPG and 7.0 RPG while shooting an amazing 74.2% from the field. His salary is perfect for this Lakers team and he backs up Dwight Howard.
The Perfect Lakers Team - Total Salary: $99,473,200
Clearly, this team would beat any of the NBA teams right now. LeBron's playmaking and leadership can allow him to play point guard, so Damian Lillard can start at shooting guard. This will be a fantastic backcourt that will have shooting, passing, an unbelievable leadership. After these two stars, Zion and Siakam provide size and impact on the game with excellent all-around play.
If there is a weakness to this team, if any, it might be at the center position but this Lakers team can go small-ball and start two or three guards at a time without losing any productivity on the boards. Graham and Mitchell are excellent choices for small-ball, while even Carmelo and SGA can provide sparks off the bench.
The return of Showtime is here, and one can only imagine if there was a $100 million salary cap for the Purple and Gold.
Starting Lineup: LeBron James, Damian Lillard, Pascal Siakam, Zion Williamson, Dwight Howard