I forget how much fun the NBA off season is until it arrives! This is fun.
Both the Clippers and the Lakers have a lot riding on this off season. The Clippers have the better team now, but that can change after free agent decisions are made. Where the Lakers need shooters to round out their squad, the Clippers need a star.
The Lakers already have the star, well stars!
A lot has been said about the Lakers clearing space by shipping three players and a 2nd round pick to Washington as part of the deal that brings them Anthony Davis. It’s a bold move that leaves them with LBJ, AD, Kyle Kuzma and…well, that’s it. LBJ is a once in a generation player and AD is one of the best in the Association, but they obviously need more. I mean, the rules of the game require five on the court and as of right now the Lakers don’t even have that!
Many are hoping for another star. It makes sense that the Lakers would create max space to at least pitch another star to join them. It seems logical that Kawhi Leanord is on their board and I know Laker fans are dreaming of that very impressive Big 3, but that’s not what this team needs. Forget that Kawhi doesn’t seem to be the type of player to be OK with being the third option, who are you going to play along side them other then Kuzma?
No, the Lakers need to spend their $32 million on shooters, not another star.
Consider players like J.J. Redick ($12.2 m last season), Seth Curry ($2.7m last season), Wesley Matthews ($1m last season), Malcolm Brogdon ($1.2m last season), Bojan Bogdanovic ($10m last season), Danny Green ($10m last season) or Wayne Ellington ($2.3m last season). You could almost get all of them with your $32m Lakers. That is the team you need to build!
In LBJ, AD and Kuzma they have players than can hit a three, but they aren’t three-point shooters. Fill the remaining spots with players than can shoot and the Lakers have a chance to be something special in 2019-2020.
The Clippers are in a different place. They have a team reached the playoffs and gave the Warriors a scare. The Raptors beat the Warriors without KD and only 1/2 of Klay. I can’t help but think the Clippers might have done the same given the same line-up. To be fair, the Rockets and Blazers might have beat that squad as well.
Back to the Clippers though.
They have two young guards who will likely have the point and shooting positions set for a while in Shai and Shamet. The balance of their roster are quality, gritty players that seem to excel off the bench. The Clippers need a star!
Consider a starting lineup of Shai, Shamet, Kawhi, Brook Lopez and Tobias Harris. That team has the potential for a deep playoff run and a chance at a Championship. Compare this team with the Raptors. Harris fills the Pascal Siakam role with Lopez being Marc Gasol. On points alone the Clippers have the better player at the forward spot, Siakim at 16.9ppg and Harris at 20ppg. At center Gasol averaged 13.6ppg to Lopezs 12.5ppg but Lopez is a few years younger. The only unknown for this fictional Clippers team is how the young guards will develop.
Will either Shai or Shamet be Kyle Lowry? While neither of them fit the Lowry mold in terms of similar type of player I think both have the potential to be very good players like Lowry was and is. Of course, this Clippers team would only be possible if they trade away Danilo Galinari without bringing salary back and do not re-sign Patrick Beverly who will likely earn a big payday elsewhere.
So, what do you think of this? Your 2019-20 Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers?
- LeBron James
- Bojan Bogdanovic
- Anthony Davis
- Rajon Rondo (I didn’t bring him up earlier because I was focusing on shooters, but he makes the most sense to me at point)
- J.J. Redick
- Seth Curry
- Danny Green
- Malcolm Brogdon
- Kyle Kuzma
- Kawhi Leanord
- Tobias Harris
- Shae Gilgious Alexander
- Landry Shamet
- Brook Lopez
- Lou Williams
- Montrezl Harrel
- Jerome Robinson
- Ivica Zubac
Both squads are less than perfect. I just noticed that neither has a backup PG! But, I do think both of these scenarios are possible and give both LA teams a real chance to complete.
What do you think?
Jose has written for Bleacher Report, Clipperholics, OC Weekly and wrote a series of articles covering the 2010 NBA Finals for the LA Times. He lives in Southern California and is excited to watch thePeachBasket grow!