,There are rumors circling that the Los Angeles Lakers are one of the teams to look out for in the next two or three years. However, if Magic Johnson can play his cards right this offseason, the Lakers could be the team to watch in 2017. The Lakers were lucky enough to retain their pick in this coming NBA Draft as it easily could’ve gone to the Philadelphia 76ers. What that did was give them a fighting chance to land Paul George, Jahlil Okafor and possibly Gordon Hayward.
Yes, you read that correctly. The Lakers have a chance to land two of the top players in the NBA in one offseason.
For the past 2 years, the team has known it was going to need a superstar to take the mantle once Kobe Bryant walked away. Last season was their first without Kobe in 20 years and things didn’t go so well. However, in the process of the losing, the Lakers got a chance to see what the faces of their franchise could be without such a towering figure.
Players like D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle are the leaders but are they enough?
This is where Johnson will have to make the tough decision. One on hand, he can continue to build through the draft by taking a player like Lonzo Ball and hope a free agent will want to join a rebuilding team. Or he could take a strong-arm approach and corner the market. George wants out of Indiana and has stated he wishes to play for his hometown team. Can the Lakers pull this off or will they have to wait until he becomes a free agent in 2018?
The rumors out of Salt Lake City is that the Jazz may be willing to part ways with Hayward this year and if so, the Lakers could swoop in and stake claim to one of the league’s most prolific shooters. The Boston Celtics are high on his list and can you blame Hayward for wanting to win right away? If he were to join the Lakers, there is no guarantee that the playoffs are a certainty. Unless– he’s joined by another All-Star.
For these deals to happen, the Lakers must be bold and pray for a little help along the way. Their first order of business is to get the Indiana Pacers to part ways with George. The Pacers will want plenty and the Lakers have much to offer. First, they could offer the No.2 pick in this coming Draft, their 1st rounder in 2018 and possibly Ingram and Luol Deng. Seems like a lot but George is worth it. This move will benefit both teams going forward. The Pacers will be able to rebuild and the Lakers will get their player plus rid themselves of Deng’s huge contract.
Their next order of business is to make a pitch to Hayward. With George now onboard this will make a sell to Gordon that much easier. What was once looking like another 25 win season could turn into a Dynasty in the making. But the Lakers could not be done with just Hayward and George. The team could still use a reliable big man. Enter Okafor.
The 76ers are loaded in the frontcourt and Okafor has no place. He’s a starter and wants to play starter minutes but how can he behind Joel Embiid and Dario Saric? This is where Magic can make a move for Okafor. By sending the 76ers Clarkson and pray they are willing to take on Timofey Mozgov and that outrageous contract. This deal gives the 76ers the SG they desire and rid themselves of Okafor who’s not needed. The Lakers benefit as they could possibly have a 50 win team on their hands with Russell, Hayward, George, Randle and Okafor in the starting unit.
To some, this may seem a bit unbelievable but these are the new Lakers now. This is a team that has Magic Johnson at the helm, plays in front of one of the top 2 loyal fan bases in the league and are willing to spend to make sure they have a winner on the floor. How could you bet against them? The key is George. If the Lakers can make that trade for George then the rest of the pieces will fall into place.