The Los Angeles Lakers have some big decisions to make as far as how to handle the future of their franchise over these next two weeks. With the ability to clear room to add another max salary – at the risk of compromising their depth – the Lakers need to decide which direction they plan to build out the roster.
With a loaded free agent market and linked to nearly every big name free agent, the Lakers are widely rumored to bring at least SOMEONE on board to join forces with LeBron James and Anthony Davis to form a new Big Three in LA.
Lakers Should Only Target Kawhi Leonard In Free Agency According to Analyst
Chris Broussard – “The only max superstar that I would go after is Kawhi Leonard. If I can get Kawhi, I don’t care who the other 10-12 guys are on the team. I think they’re going to be so good defensively with Kawhi and AD that I would want LeBron to play point guard and just surround him with shooters. Now I wouldn’t use a max slot on Kyrie, Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker – any of them.
With LeBron’s big threes, that third guy really tends to have to take a step back – Chris Bosh, Kevin Love. Of AD, LeBron, and Kyrie who is stepping back? Ideally, it would be the point guard but that’s not Kyrie’s game and if you want Kyrie to step back he’s not going to be Kyrie.”
Despite being linked to nearly every major free agent, analyst Chris Broussard had some interesting thoughts on how the Lakers should proceed in free agency. Citing the fact that the third man in the Big Three would likely have to take a much smaller role, Broussard explains how there are very few max salary stars he would feel comfortable spending that money on. In fact, he narrows his list down to a single free agent – Kawhi Leonard.
While Klay would also be an ideal fit based on his criteria, the Warriors’ star shooting guard seems most likely to stay in the Bay after his knee injury and the Lakers are likely unwilling to invest in a max contract that won’t see the floor for a year at this point. Kawhi is an appealing option but also a massive wildcard as nobody knows what his actual intentions are heading into free agency.
Kawhi Leonard’s Fit on the Lakers
Kawhi looks to be an excellent fit with the Lakers on paper. Especially as he wouldn’t be relied on as the primary scoring option, Leonard would likely see a huge increase in his shooting percentages – specifically from deep. Leonard has never shared the court with a playmaker like LeBron and with defenses having to focus on stopping James and Anthony Davis, Leonard could utterly dominate in the role of third option.
From a “load management” perspective, it would help take a considerable burden off of Leonard as he wouldn’t need to be spending nearly as much energy on the offensive side of the ball. Leonard showed how deadly he can be when well-rested in this year’s playoffs and limiting his offensive workload could make for a dangerous monster come playoff time.