The idea Lonzo and LeBron can’t be a good fit playing together is laughable. There might not be another duo of players in the game today better matched to reprise Magic and Big James and bring back the glory of Lakers Showtime.
Lonzo is a unicorn point guard in that he does not need to dominate the ball like other point guards such as James Harden or Chris Paul or point forwards like Ben Simmons or LeBron himself. Instead, Lonzo’s selfless passing and relentless pace pushing creates an infectious environment where the ball and players are constant moving. Lonzo’s like a conductor and his goal is ensuring the players play their best and have fun and the performances lead to wins.
Frankly, there’s probably no better point guard in the league today to lead a team comprised of LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George, three players used to having the ball in their hands around 30% of the time. Lonzo Ball’s ability to keep the ball in motion and his league low 17% usage rate for a point guard is exactly what a superteam needs to function , thrive, and win. Lonzo isn’t why LeBron James wouldn’t join the Lakers. He’s why he will.
What Lonzo provides that’s unique and perfect for LeBron is a playing style where LeBron is suddenly free to play with and without ball, where his raw superior athleticism and physicality can be deployed and weaponized much more efficiently and beneficially to the team than constantly isolating him. Instead of having the ball in his hands 30% of the time, playing with Lonzo would enable LeBron to reduce that workload and wear-and-tear to 25%.
What’s missing from LeBron’s game right now is playing in a system where he gets easy baskets and can score without a Herculean effort and maybe play defense. LeBron needs to follow part of Kevin Durant lead by joining a team that plays a fun, successful style where he can fit his unique skills into their system. Kevin may still be taking hits for joining the Dubs but watching him in the Finals, you can tell he’s never enjoyed the game of basketball more.
I may still prefer the Lakers would pursue other superstars but there’s no way thinking of Lonzo firing full court passes to a streaking LeBron doesn’t bring a smile of anticipation and flickering flame of hope that it just might come true.