Now that the Lakers are not going to the playoffs this season, what can they do to fix the team? Magic Johnson and the rest of the squad are going to be really focused this offseason. Having free agents like Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, and Kawhi Leonard and only $37M of cap space this summer it’s going to be hard acquiring any of these players and building another team for LeBron.
LeBron yesterday said in an interview, “I’m confident the Lakers are going to do well next season and I know a lot of players want to play with me.” The King is not lying, any player would like to play with the 3 time champion LeBron James. The question is, do they want to? History tells us they don’t. The only players that really wanted to play with him were Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, and Bosh wasn’t very happy with his numbers in those Miami years. He left Miami to proclaim the championship in Cleveland where Kyrie Irving was already there. Kevin Love was added to the mix and he wanted to play with The King but his numbers downgraded similar to what happen with Chris Bosh.
Kyrie asked for trade for his own spotlight and now LeBron is on the struggling Lakers looking for new teammates to succeed with. This summer with $37M of cap space they can only sign one star with a max contract but that would leave LeBron with one star on his roster. The ideal thing is to give that contract to Klay Thompson even if he isn’t worth the max contract. Why? Because LeBron needs a perimeter shooter better than Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Klay is looking for that max.
Paul George had the chance to leave Oklahoma City Thunder to join LeBron and didn’t. LeBron has spoken to Kawhi Leonard to join forces telling him that his defensive skills would combine well with him, Kawhi doesn’t look interested either. Jimmy Butler wants to win by his own, he doesn’t want help from LeBron, not interested. Kevin Durant is in the conversation but I don’t think he wants to go to the struggling Lakers when there are other teams with more cap space to build a playoff team around him. And lastly we have Kyrie Irving, he said he misses LeBron but not because he wants to play again with him. The missing LeBron part was because of his mentorship and veteranship coming to playoff season.
All in all, the elephant in the room is called Anthony Davis. The Lakers this season made a huge attempt to landing AD, but the New Orleans Pelicans made it hard for them. In summer they plan to make another attempt, and with new GM in New Orleans they may land AD this time. Now with AD’s contract the Lakers will not have a chance for other star free agents having a contract of $27M next season. Magic and his crew are going to have a rough time this free agency taking decisions that will affect their future and with the Lakers media, even harder.