What Should Be Lakers’ Next Move?
Comparing the options the Los Angeles Lakers will have to build a superteam around superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis
While there are still cap space hurdles to be jumped, the Los Angeles Lakers continue to have a strong interest signing a superstar like Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Kawhi Leonard, or Jimmy Butler to a max contract in free agency.
Whether the addition of Anthony Davis will be enough to entice one of these superstar free agents to don purple and gold may be a long shot as none of them were seriously thought to be Lakers bound before the trade. But maybe the Lakers know something the media doesn’t or maybe LeBron’s been able to recruit Kawhi or Kyrie. But even if they fail to clear the cap space or sign that third superstar, the Lakers grand plan to build a superteam is alive and well.
Whether you’re rooting for a Dynamic Duo or a Big Three, the Lakers have a wide world of opportunities from which to choose once free agency opens up on June 30th. Here are my seven best options for the Lakers’ next move:
- Sign Kawhi Leonard. That another forward should top the Lakers’ free agency big board is a testament to how great a player Kawhi Leonard is. Even without a single starting quality guard on their roster, the Lakers should not hesitate to spend all their cap space to sign Kawhi Leonard as he would give them three of the top seven basketball players in the world. Signing the 27-year old Leonard to go with the 26-year old Anthony and 34-year old James would secure the Lakers’ present as well as its future.
- Sign Malcolm Brogdon and Danny Green. Nothing is as important in the playoffs than having an elite five-man starting lineup with no holes. Adding a point and shooting guard who’re dead-eye three-point shooters and lock-down defenders to the Lakers would be a better option than adding a single superstar like Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker. It make the Lakers a championship juggernaut. The 24-year old Brogdon and 31-year old Green should be second option on the Lakers’ free agency big board.
- Sign Jimmy Butler. While point guard may be a more important starting position for the Lakers than shooting guard, signing a 6' 8" elite perimeter defender and versatile guard like Jimmy Butler could be a smarter move than signing an undersized point guard like Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker. The 29-year old Butler is used to being third option and would fit better playing besides James and Davis than the ball dominant Irving or Walker. He’s also a very capable playmaker who can complement a point guard.
- Sign Kyrie Irving. There’s no question that an elite point guard is a key component the Lakers need to go with LeBron James and Anthony Davis or that Kyrie Irving is one the league’s premier shooters and playmakers. The 27-year old Irving has proven he can play alongside LeBron and win an NBA championship and he’s an experienced clutch playoff performer, which gives him the edge over the talented Kemba Walker, who hasn’t had the opportunities to show what how he could play during the playoffs.
- Sign Kemba Walker. There’s no single free agent player better suited to solve the Lakers three-point shooting woes and create space for LeBron James and Anthony Davis than Kemba Walker, who took and made the fifth most threes in the league behind Steph Curry, James Harden, and Paul George. The 29-year old Walker is a wizard with the ball was and posted the twelfth highest scoring average in the entire league. He’s not a great defender at 6' 1" but his shooting and playmaking make up for it.
- Patrick Beverley and Terrence Ross. If the Lakers can’t sign one of the top four free agents on their big board or steal Brogdon from the Bucks, they should consider a Patrick Beverley and Terrence Ross backcourt. The 30-year old Beverley is a pesky aggressive defender and career 38.0% three-point shooter. The 28-year old Ross is an explosive athletic scorer and career 37.4% three-point shooter and better than average defender. They would be an excellent fit with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
- Sign Daren Collison and J.J. Redick. They may not be the youngest backcourt the Lakers could put together but they both shoot lights out, which is exactly what LeBron James and Anthony Davis need. The 31-year old Collison is a career 39.4% three-point shooter who shot over 40% for four straight years and the 34-year old J.J. Redick is a career 41.4% three-point shooter. Both are just average defenders for their positions but their elite three-point shooting and veteran experience help balance the scales.
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