With the NBA Finals about to wrap up and the NBA Draft just one week away, what promises to be one of the most active NBA offseasons in memory is about to get going. And one of the most watched teams will be the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers are expected to continue their pursuit of big man Anthony Davis, while also pursuing a free agent star to put next to Lebron James. The team is planning to get beyond its disastrous season, in which they missed the playoffs in James’ first year in Los Angeles, and the behind-the-scenes chaos that led to the departures of team executive Magic Johnson and coach Luke Walton.
Now, as they enter the offseason, leading NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski says the Lakers may face trouble if they can’t swing a trade for Davis next week.
“If the Lakers are drafting at No. 4 on draft night, they’re in trouble,” the reporter known as Woj said on an NBA draft special Tuesday night, as posted to Twitter by Showtime Forum. In other words, if the Lakers have any hope for a successful offseason, they need to make a trade, one that includes that fourth overall pick, for Davis because none of the marquee free agents appear interested in joining the Lakers.
“They have got to find, very likely via trade, a co-star for Lebron James,” Wojnarowski said. “If they don’t get Anthony Davis, [the Lakers] are going to have a hard time putting a team on the floor next year that Lebron James is going to be very happy about.”
Ever since James signed with the Lakers last summer, the team has been seeking to add a second superstar, with little success. They sought a trade with New Orleans last February for Davis, who had requested to be moved, but no such deal was done. The Lakers and Pelicans are now both run by different front offices than last year, and new Pelicans executive David Griffin said, per The Inquisitr, that the team is willing to consider multi-team trades.
Of the major free agents this offseason, none have been closely linked with the Lakers, although Jimmy Butler was photographed wearing shoes in the Lakers’ colors a few weeks ago. Per Hoops Hype, Kevin Durant is said to be choosing between staying with the Warriors and heading to New York, although his recent injury clouds the question of whether he’ll be a free agent at all. Klay Thompson is expected to stay in Golden State, while Kawhi Leonard is likely either staying in Toronto or moving to the L.A. Clippers. Kyrie Irving, despite rumblings he might want to rejoin James in Los Angeles, is rumored to be heading to one of the New York teams.