For whatever reason, fans of the Los Angeles Lakers have thoughts of LeBron James rocking the rims in the Staples Center come 2018 or beyond. I can understand the excitement as having one of the best players in the world sporting the Purple & Gold but they must stay clear of James at all cost. The reason being is well– the cost. What will it cost to have No. 23 in a year or two? With the way contracts are being given away lately it may cost the Lakers close to $60M per year, No matter his talent– that will not be a wise choice for the Lakers to make.
The Lakers are currently in the middle of a youth movement with players such as Lonzo Ball, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram. There is speculation that Paul George will be in Los Angles next year but money talks. George will cost the Lakers millions and depending on the development of 2nd-year player Ingram possibly much more. If George does indeed come to L.A. then what will Magic Johnson decide to do with Ingram? Does he move Ingram to the bench or will the Lakers look to trade away their most athletic player?
This is the same issue the Lakers must think about if James were to come to town in 2018.
His contract will eat up their salary cap and if George were to come then what? What happens to their money and most importantly– what happens to their young core? Are two seasons of LeBron worth another 12 for Randle? James is a great player and may help bring another title to L.A. but as long as the Golden State Warriors are intact that will not happen. And let’s not forget that LeBron is not the young guy he once was. By the time the summer of 2018 rolls along James will be 33 years old and 34 before the Lakers begin the 2019 calendar year.
James has managed to avoid any serious injuries during his career but why would the Lakers take a chance at dismantling their core for older guys who will cost more and can’t escape Father Time? LeBron has taken hits throughout his career for failing to be assertive in big moments along with his 3-8 record in the Finals. At 33-34 years old will LeBron have enough in the tank to hold off the top contenders in the Western Conference? His career has been spent in the East where the competition has been weak to say the least.
In the West, with the Lakers, he will need help. There is talk of a possibility of Russell Westbrook and maybe Carmelo Anthony but once again– the Lakers would be thinking short-term here. Nothing works here if the Lakers are serious about putting the franchise back on top. A quick fix with LeBron is just that– a quick fix. What happens when he decides to leave or the Basketball Gods catch up to him? The Lakers will regret moving Randle or Ingram for James.
Most won’t agree because they see the player who has been to 7 straight NBA Finals. But each of those teams had more than 2 All-Stars. Right now the Lakers just have an overpriced Brook Lopez and a bunch of young guys with promise. James brings them promise, however, he also brings mileage and a huge contract to boot.
What’s more important– a chance at a title or a chance at a Dynasty?