As the NBA rumors continue to swirl regarding LeBron James or other NBA free agents heading to a Los Angeles team, The Undefeated is saying it won’t be easy to attract them. James is just one big star set to become a free agent at the end of the season, along with fellow All-Star Paul George.
In a report on Monday from Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, there is one major component that the L.A. teams currently lack when it comes to attracting another All-Star. Neither the Clippers nor the Lakers, currently have any other All-Star players on their teams. As Spears notes, the Clippers do have the potential there with Lou Williams, Tobias Harris, and DeAndre Jordan, but none of them were All-Stars this year. That said, Jordan has been an All-Star before.
As for the Los Angeles Lakers, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Brandon Ingram have the potential to be future All-Stars. However, LeBron James isn’t exactly playing in the first half of his career. Players like LeBron and George want other stars on their squad so they know they’ll have a shot at winning titles. Right now, the Clippers and Lakers just don’t have enough to contend with teams like Golden State, Houston, and Boston.
The Clippers may have even shut down the possibility of luring King James or another star to the city by trading former All-Star Blake Griffin to the Pistons. With Griffin and Jordan in place, adding LeBron would bring a superstar into the mix to possibly help them contend. Depending on how they look for the second half of the season, they could still garner interest, but as Spears notes
Spears also mentions that the L.A. Lakers may also have hurt their chances to attract LeBron James for next season when they traded several players to the Cleveland Cavaliers. In a deal which sent Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye to the Lakers, L.A. sent back Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. in the deal.
While neither of those players is an All-Star both are certainly contributors. Clarkson was amongst the top scorers for the Lakers, and Nance a helpful member off the bench. Those two players along with several other new additions, seem to have given a slumping Cavs team that boost ahead of the All-Star break that they needed.
James seems content with the Cavs new roster too, as he spoke to the media about it during the All-Star break.
“We just added four news guys before the [trade deadline], and we have a lot of work to do. So, I really don’t want to look too far ahead. But, obviously winning championships is what it is about. That is what the league is all about and hopefully at the end of the road then I have the Cavs there actually to compete for one, to be in the Finals representing the East.”
The same might be said for Paul George, who heard chants of “We want Paul” during his media sessions over the All-Star break. The Oklahoma City Thunder star’s teammate chimed in to let the chanters know that he doesn’t think George will be going anywhere. If George already has two stars on the roster he’s playing with, will either Los Angeles team be able to entice him to sign? Even ESPN‘s Stephen A. Smith sees another Western Conference contender as a better option for James.
With all that said, both the Lakers and Clippers still have some time to make moves to further their case for adding an NBA free agent. They just may need to make a drastic move during the summer or lower their expectations.