The NBA off-season has not disappointed, has it? In fact, it rarely does. The NBA off-season is kind of like MLB Spring Training. That’s the time each team has World Series aspirations. Yes, even the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim! The key difference of course is that by Spring Training each MLB roster is mostly set. The NBA off-season is when rosters are built!
What does link the two sports during those two unique times however is the unbridled optimism each team has for the upcoming season. The Los Angeles Lakers are no exception and certainly know how to do optimism! Of course, they were optimistic at this time last year and things didn’t go all that well. Which is what makes this time of year so interesting. Despite all the guesses by all the experts – no one really knows how this is all going to pan out.
So, with that in mind I have prepared stories to cover the best case and the worst case for the Purple & Gold. Consider all the bases officially covered.
Breaking News: The Los Angeles Lakers and Kawhi Leonard have agreed on a four-year, $141 million maximum contract.
The Los Angeles Lakers have done it. They have built their super team. By adding Leonard to a team that already has LeBron James and Anthony Davis they hope to return the proud franchise back to Championship potential. Leonard said it has always been a dream of his to play for the team he rooted for as a child. It was that possibility that had him pick the Lakers over Raptors, Knicks and the Los Angeles Clippers.
The team has some work left to do now as they have only four players under contract for the upcoming season, Leonard, James, Davis and Kuzma. Further complicating things is the fact that all four are bigs playing either the forward or center positions. The Lakers sole draft pick, Talen Horton-Tucker, is a guard who may be called on to contribute heavy minutes. Normally, any team reliant on a rookie is not in a good position. The Lakers however are not concerned and when you see what they are surrounding that rookie with, it makes sense.
No matter how much you prepare and work for a particular outcome, things sometimes don’t go your way. The Los Angeles Lakers are painfully aware of that after striking out with every max free agent they so desperately coveted. To make matters worse, after not getting the players they wanted and realizing they had to act soon to field a team around LeBron James and Anthony Davis they ended up overpaying for a group that was not initially on their radar.
It’s not all bad news for the Lakers in that they were able to secure the services of former All-Star DeMarcus Cousins. Yes, the four-year $100 million contract was much more and much longer than anything else Cousins was considering, but did we mention that he is a former All-Star?
After that gargantuan contract for Cousins the Lakers got busy rounding up their roster. They were able to invite back Rajon Rondo and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Joining them will be newcomers Jarod Dudley, Jeremy Lamb, Ish Smith and Nene Hilario. The Lakers have, um, depth.
Honestly, even the worst case scenario presented here leaves the Lakers with a pretty formidable starting five. I doubt it will work out either way, but this much we know for sure. The 2019-20 Los Angeles Lakers will look nothing like the Lakers of 2018-29.
Happy NBA Free Agent Eve to ALL!
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!