Though there’s still a season to be finished up, it’s never too early to start thinking about the offseason. If the Los Angeles Lakers end this season with a championship, it wouldn’t be surprising if they did their best to try and keep the band together. However, if they don’t bring the Larry O’Brien trophy, then they’ll probably try to make some changes.
Based on last year’s pursuit of Kawhi Leonard, it’s clear the Lakers would like to have a third superstar to play with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Unfortunately for them, Davis is the only superstar who will be available as a free agent this season. According to Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd, that’s not going to stop the team from trying to make a big move.
“LeBron is going big game hunting this offseason. … The player I keep telling you he’s going after is Bradley Beal,” Cowherd said.
This isn’t the first time the Lakers have been linked to Beal. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the team has made their interest known a number of times. Cowherd believes Beal would fit in with James.
“I love Bradley Beal, I think he’s wasting his career in Washington,” Cowherd continued. “I’ve been told LeBron loves Bradley Beal. Bradley Beal is a perfect LeBron guy. He plays both ends.”
The problem facing the Lakers is that the earliest Beal can hit free agency is 2022.
"LeBron is going big game hunting this offseason… The player I keep telling you he's going after is Bradley Beal. He's a perfect LeBron guy." — @ColinCowherd
Is the Lakers current roster good enough to win a title? pic.twitter.com/7PZbmJVHXo
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) June 30, 2020
Wizards Won’t Let Him Go Easily
The situation with Beal is very different than the situation that Davis faced last year. There’s been no indication that Beal wants to leave the Wizards and there’s no indication they want to let him go. Wizards insider Fred Katz has previously reported that there’s almost no way they’re going to let him leave without a fight.
He’s got a superstar teammate in John Wall and Washington typically finds themselves in the playoff race when healthy. That said, it’s hard to imagine this version of the Wizards winning a championship anytime soon. Beal is in for a seriously massive payday if he stays put for the next several years, but if he values winning over money, he could force his way out.
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Lakers Don’t Have Assets to Make Big Trade
If the Lakers want Beal for next season, they’re going to have to hope that he asks for a trade. Right now, the Wizards have all the leverage, which will make his price go up. A big problem facing the Lakers is that they simply don’t have the assets that would make for an appealing trade package.
Unfortunately, Danny Green, Kyle Kuzma and a 2022 first-round pick probably aren’t going to convince the Wizards to let go of one of their two best players. Now, if Beal makes it clear that he wants to go to the Lakers in a trade and nobody else, that will seriously lessen whatever leverage Washington has. Even then, it might be hard to convince them to trade Beal. If a trade doesn’t happen, the Lakers can try again in 2022 but LeBron James will be 37. While Beal to Los Angeles seems like a perfect fit, it just doesn’t seem realistic anytime soon.
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