The Los Angeles Lakers pulled off a great move by signing LeBron James this offseason. However, at the moment they’re still built, possibly for just a second-round exit. James is good, but this team, as constructed now, is still not good enough to contend with the top dawgs in the West. Another star is needed. The Lakers are hoping the San Antonio Spurs will hand them Kawhi Leonard. Don’t hold your breath.
There has to be a good reason for James deciding to sign with the Lakers well before Leonard was traded there. Maybe Magic Johnson assured him that the Spurs were willing to make the deal. But now with the news that James is now a Laker, why would the Spurs help create another Super Team?
In order for the Lakers to get Kawhi Leonard, he must be traded. The Lakers are playoff bound so their shot at a Lottery Pick to offer is gone. All the Lakers can offer the Spurs is their young talent such as Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma.
The success of this Lakers team relies on the San Antonio Spurs willingness to help one of their rivals. Don’t bet your paycheck on that.
The Spurs know that the Lakers need Kawhi. What they can do is ask for some outrageous trade package that the Lakers cannot afford. While Lakers fans are rejoicing at the addition of LeBron, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Lance Stephenson, Rajon Rondo, and JaVale McGee, they’re forgetting James just left a team like this in Cleveland. They’re also forgetting how good the Warriors, Rockets, and Thunder are. While many would love to play with LeBron, there is still a long list of players itching to play against him.
Are The Spurs Holding A Grudge Against The Lakers?
The San Antonio Spurs have all the leverage here. There are rumors that the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics and a slew of teams have reached out to the Spurs, but the masses in LA still seem to think they’re at the top of the pecking order. No. Magic Johnson has pulled off a few good moves this summer but he has no say in that the Spurs will do.
For a few days, the Lakers were the talk of the NBA. That was up until the Warriors pulled a rabbit out their hat with the DeMarcus Cousins signing. Now the Lakers are stuck in limbo. They let Julius Randle go thinking they would snag Cousins. They still have Luol Deng and his laughable contract on the books. The Lakers also created a bit of controversy by signing Rajon Rondo when they have Lonzo Ball. And let’s not forget to mention that one of their young players in Kuzma or Ingram will be forced to the bench if not traded. Good moves that may have caused more confusion than anything.
All this was done with the thought that the Spurs will trade Leonard there and so far, nothing. The one mistake the Lakers made this offseason was thinking the Spurs will let Kawhi dictate their actions. Sorry LA, but Kawhi is not Carmelo, Pop is not George Karl and the Spurs are not the Denver Nuggets.