After completing one of the most massive trades in recent years, the Lakers have set their eye on the 2020 NBA Championship. Right now their roster consists of just 6 players, and two of those players have played a combined 28 games in the NBA.
In this post I will discuss how the Lakers will not be able to sign a third star. Not only do I feel not many stars in this Free Agency class are interested in signing with the Lakers, if they somehow manage to complete a star signing, they won’t win a ring due to having no bench pieces.
Kawhi Leonard, Kemba Walker and Jimmy Butler Won’t Sign with the Lakers
These three guys are the three main stars I have heard rumors with regarding them signing with the Lakers. Starting with Kawhi, there have been many reports on how he doesn’t want to go to the Lakers. Today I was listening to Woj who was on the ESPN show Get-Up, and he said, “Kawhi Leonard’s focus [is] on Los Angeles, but it’s the Clippers not the Lakers.” This is pretty huge news, but it is also just reconfirming what everyone new before. In an unrealistic scenario, us NBA Fans would love to see Kawhi, AD and Bron all on one team. But realistically it is a two leg horse between the Clippers and the Raptors. Leonard also has a player option, so he may just decide to return to the city he just got a champ with. To add to this, last year Shams Charania went on The Herd and stated, “It’s been made abundantly clear there’s not an interest to go join a superteam. I don’t think he’s jumping for joy that LeBron James is in L.A. with the Lakers.” Again, although us NBA fans want him to sign with the Lakers I really don’t think he will.
Next up is Kemba Walker, who is a fantastic Point Guard and a player the Lakers would love to have. In a press conference that occurred just five days ago, Nick Carboni asked Kemba Walker if he would take less than the supermax to help the team and Kemba responded, “Yeah I would take less. Sure why not. I would take less.” This shows his loyalty to the organization and how he wants to help the team make the playoffs. With the chat he had with the media, us NBA fans took away that his #1 priority is to help the Hornets out and it is pretty much certain he wants to stay there. I don’t see him making a move to California any time soon.
Finally you have Jimmy Butler. He earned 20 million in this season and has made a total of 60 million through his career, so if he declines his player option it is probably to secure more money. The Lakers only have 24 million cap space as of now, so there is no chance they sign Jimmy Butler or really any star with that money. A star in the NBA now a days wants like 30 million or around that, so having not even 25 isn’t enough.
Not only that but the Lakers need to have a good culture if they want to win a champ. AD has a player option, and if things go totally wrong and he declines it, the Lakers are toast. Butler does not have a great locker room track record, and signing him would definitely be a risk.
To add more to this, LeBron and Butler don’t complement each other. The sixers right now have no spacing on the court. Kuzma shoots 30% from 3, AD shoots 33% from 3, and LeBron shoots 34% from 3. Adding Butler is just adding another 34% 3-point shooter. Teams will use this poor shooting to make sure the paint is locked up, and if teams are able to defend the paint, the Lakers can’t win. LeBron is the primary ball handler on the court. LeBron analyzes the court, and if there is a defender on the court sagging off on a 3-point shooter, he knows where to pass the ball. If the team has no shooters, it is one less option for LeBron and the floor spacing will be atrocious, kind of like this past season for the Lakers. Butler will not sign for the Lakers because not only will he want to much money, he doesn’t help out the Lakers as much as people may think.
Those are my reasons on why each star won’t sign with the Lakers in this years Free Agency. I hope you enjoyed my post and hopefully tomorrow I will have an article out on Free Agents I think are realistic options for the Lakers.