The Los Angeles Lakers may have just barely won the NBA championship but it’s not too early to start talking about the team’s future. Anthony Davis is likely about to be a free agent and LeBron James isn’t getting any younger. If they want Davis to stay for the long term, they’re going to need to convince him that he has a future in Los Angeles once LeBron retires.
Lakers legend Magic Johnson was recently on ESPN’s First Take and made the case for why Davis wouldn’t leave.
“Anthony Davis now is known across the world because of the platform of the Lakers, and then him and LeBron next season, they could repeat,” Johnson said. “You don’t want to leave here, and not have a guy like LeBron James playing alongside of you because the same thing that happened in New Orleans would happen to Anthony Davis again. They make each other better, and then last but not least, when LeBron retires, he just says, ‘here Anthony Davis, it’s your team now, you go on and lead the Lakers to the next five to six championships.'”
First Take co-host brought up that Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic will probably be a free agent when LeBron decides to retire.
“Aye that’s right, Luka come on to the Lakers, I like that,” Johnson said.
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Would Doncic Every Leave the Mavericks?
While Johnson’s plea to Doncic would get any Laker fan excited, so many things would have to fall into place for this to happen. First of all, the Mavericks are pretty good about retaining their superstar talent. Mark Cuban is a very committed owner and he would never let Doncic leave without a fight. Dallas is a good market for basketball and there will be plenty of opportunities to make money off the court.
Also, the Mavericks are poised to be a very good team for a long time. They gave the Clippers a run for the money in this year’s playoffs and they should only get better. On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be many reasons why he’d want to leave Dallas. However, it wouldn’t be impossible for the Lakers to make it happen.
How Lakers Could Convince Doncic to Make the Move?
The Mavericks won’t even have to worry about Doncic until 2022 when he becomes a restricted free agent. When that happens, it’s unlikely a team will sign him because the Mavericks will obviously match any offer that comes up. That would likely mean that Doncic has no chance at free agency until 2023.
Doncic should have three more seasons to see what he can do in Dallas. If the Mavericks don’t even sniff a championship in any of those seasons, that could open the door for the Lakers. If Los Angeles could win one or two of the next three championships, they become very appealing to superstars looking to win. LeBron will be 38 in 2023 and probably won’t be as effective. He should either retire or accept a lesser role once that happens. However, Anthony Davis should still have some strong years left. He’ll only be 30 in 2023. The Lakers could sell Doncic on the idea of replacing LeBron and pairing up with Davis to compete for championships for years to come.
There’s no guarantee it would work but we’ve seen plenty of superstars sour on their teams when they keep losing. It sounds like a pipe dream now but the Lakers will definitely be in the Doncic sweepstakes if he ever decides to hit free agency.