The Lakers Need to Build a Veteran Led Big 3
The Lakers are the type of franchise that is championship or bust, and with good reason. They have won 16 championships in their illustrious history. If they don’t get more proactive in free agency and trading, it will be very hard for the Lakers to get back to that.
The Lakers haven’t been without a superstar for many years, going back at least 20 years, prior to Kobe Bryant, and before that, they had Magic Johnson. Not to mention others like James Worthy, Shaquille O’Neal, and numerous others. It looks like D’Angelo Russell is a superstar in the making, but he is not quite there yet. Brandon Ingram has the potential to be, but he even struggled in the NBA Summer League.
The 76ers have been rebuilding for years, and they are doing via only the draft. They don’t sign big time free agents, and that might not completely be the Sixers fault. Many superstars wouldn’t sign with the Sixers, but the Lakers are not in that position. The bright lights of LA and the huge media presence attract big names, ask the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The other team that comes to mind when you think of completely building with young players is the Minnesota Timberwolves. They have had pick after pick in the top 10, and still can’t seem to turn the corner in becoming a contender. It seems like besides the Warriors and Spurs, no team has completely drafted a championship contender. The Spurs have something no one else has, and that’s Gregg Popovich.
The Lakers need to get into the new fad, of creating “Big 3s”, and not a big 3 full of rookie and 2nd year players. They need to be proactive in the trade world, even if it means giving up a young player. If they don’t get proactive, the Lakers are in danger of becoming the Timberwolves. They have good young players, but can’t seem to turn the corner.
With that being said, it’s okay to give the Lakers a couple years to do that. They are just getting over the Kobe Bryant era, and now it’s time to see what they really have. There were two stages of the Kobe Bryant era after Shaq. The first stage was when Bryant was so good, he made up for other players not playing up to par, and the second stage is the stage where Kobe was going to be Kobe no matter what, and limited the players around him. Both stages made it very hard for the Lakers to move on and to evaluate talent.
This is the year for the Lakers to see what they really have, and who can step up and be a part of a big three.
Demarcus Cousins would be a player the Lakers should look at to start a big three with D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram. They also need a 5-
ool player, and that might require them to give up a draft pick or someone like Jordan Clarkson. Every championship teams needs that Draymond Green or Lebron James type that can do everything. Obviously it won’t be Lebron, but Los Angeles can find other 5-tool players.
The Lakers need to make a big splash after this year, or the fan base will start to grow restless. They need to form a big three with at least one veteran player. Otherwise they will be stuck in neutral, like the Timberwolves, with a lot of young talent, but just can’t turn the corner.