Until this season, the Los Angeles Lakers were trapped in a black hole of mediocrity for years. Kobe Bryant’s last years with the team were hampered by injuries and lack of talent. The team did what they could to get out of the slump, but they just weren’t able to attract top talent.
They tried to sign stars and build through the draft, but nothing worked until they got LeBron James to come to town. However, if Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid would’ve had it his way coming into the NBA, the Lakers could’ve gotten ahead of their rebuild. According to Yaron Weiztman of Bleacher Report, the multi-time All-Star wanted to play in Los Angeles:
The Bucks, meanwhile, had locked in on Parker, another Tellem client, at No. 2, and anyway, Embiid had no interest in playing there. “That place is corny,” he told Nyam.
What he really wanted was to fall to the Lakers at No. 7. He’d been living in Los Angeles and grown comfortable in the city. “Work your magic,” he told Tellem. Tellem knew there was no chance of Embiid plunging that far, so instead he and Nyam sold Embiid on Philadelphia. Tellem had grown up there. Nyam had moved there to play high school basketball. It took a bit, but Embiid bought in.
The Lakers ended up getting Julius Randle with the seventh pick of that draft and while he had a decent stint with the team, his highs haven’t been nearly as high as Embiid’s.
Any Chance Emiid Wants to Come Back to L.A.?
Considering the massive contract the 76ers gave Embiid in 2017, it’s highly unlikely he’s leaving Philadelphia anytime soon. He’s become their star and while they do have a problem with consistency, they’re still a solid team. It seems like the idea of Embiid ever wearing purple and gold will always just remain a dream. One of the appeals of playing in Los Angeles in 2014 was that Kobe Bryant was still with the team. Now that Embiid is a big star, he’s probably not going to leave his team to play with LeBron James.
Perhaps in 2023 when he finally is finished with his contract, he could want to return to Los Angeles. He’s got a lot of star power and could thrive being near Hollywood. He’ll still be under 30 and if he can stay healthy, he should still be dominant. Imagine pairing him with Anthony Davis. That would be one of the best big men duos in NBA history.
Follow the Heavy on Lakers Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Latest on Lakers During NBA Suspension
The Lakers have gone very quiet since the NBA suspended action while the country figures out the best way to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. Outside of the occasional LeBron James tweet about wine, the Lakers have shutdown almost everything. Reportedly, the team can still workout but everything is very limited.
Jared Dudley has dropped some good information since the suspension happened and it appears the NBA could be on hiatus for quite a while. Fortunately for the Lakers, it appears like the plan is to continue the current NBA season once the outbreak is under control.