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Ever since Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka took the reigns of the Lakers front office last year, we've been told that one of their goals is to create cap flexibility for this coming summer's free agent class, but beyond that it's difficult to envision, from what they've told us, the kind of team they're actually looking to create. In a few strategic moves that saw the Lakers lose young talent like Russell, Clarkson and Nance Jr., the Lakers have freed up the requisite cap space to sign a couple of top teir players this summer. It's no secret (wink wink) the Lakers are interested in Paul George. I get it. He's Paul freakin' George. He's averaging 21.6 points a game playing alongside Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, two gunslingers who take away a lot of his touches. That's no small feat. And why wouldn't PG13 want to come to LA? The reasons are well-chronicled and aplenty: the Lakers have promising young talent, he idolized Magic Johnson as a kid, Luke seems like a chill dude to play for, we all imagine playing with Westbrook probably sucks and best of all he's from Los Angeles (Palmdale, actually, but no one's Google Mapping it).

Aside from George, the other free agent who gets mentioned a lot, as someone the Lakers plan to target this summer, is The King himself, Lebron James. And who in their right mind wouldn't want to sign, arguably, one of the greatest players of all time in Lebron James to their team? He can single handedly take a crappy roster and make them a championship contender. And why would The King want stay with the Cavs? They're so frustrating to watch and be around, even their coach Tyrone Lue grew sick of them. Sure, a few years ago, when they stole that title from Golden State, they looked okay, but even at their best they were an overachieving squad completely dependent on Lebron's talents (and that was with Kyrie Irving). The bottom line is the Cavs are a sinking ship and Lebron has better options than to stay onboard to Dan Gilbert's delight. The Lakers young core represent, perhaps, the most promising of those options.

While it might be exciting to imagine the Lakers signing both George and Lebron this summer, it's important to think about fit. Three of the Lakers top prospects (Ingram, Kuzma and Randle) are all around 6'9",  the same height (give or take an inch) as Lebron and George. If the Lakers were to add both George and Lebron, Randle and Kuzma would likely have to come off the bench, which means less opportunity for them to develop into the stars we hope they can one day become. There's something exciting about watching these young players take ownership of their team this year. We've seen Kuzma impress us with his late game closer mentality and Randle come into his own as a fiery scorer and surprisingly good defender. Not to mention Ingram who seems to have embraced his role as the Lakers primary scorer and leader. If the Lakers acquire Lebron and George, the power will immediately change hands. No longer will Kuzma be closing games. No longer will the everyone clear the lane for Randle to go one-on-one against a  mismatch. No longer will Ingram be the one the team looks to for leadership. Make no mistake, if they acquire Lebron and George, it will be Lebron's team and George will be second in charge. Perhaps this is a good thing, but it will undoubtedly change the entire direction and dynamic of the team as it stands today. 

No doubt, I'd take Lebron James and Paul George over all the young talent the Lakers currently possess any day of the week, and if the Lakers can get either of those guys they definitely should. But if the Lakers want to build on what they already have, maybe they should consider going after players that might fit in with their young prospects. Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and Kawhi Leonard are a few who come to mind (I know, all players who'd likely have to be acquired via trade). The bottom line is if the Lakers really believe in the potential of their young players, they should consider adding players that compliment them rather than take their place.

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I do want us to sign Lebron.  Age is one reason.  Others are he would demand to be option one, and not sure about our young talent growing like they should, in that environment.  Then, there is his wanting to be coach and general manager.  Again, not good around our young talent, or anyone.  I would rather see Leonard, George, or anyone else.  

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Posted (edited)

I agree with you about adding Lebron. I think it'd change the whole dynamic of the team. Personally, I like the idea of adding Leonard. I think he would fit in nicely with the young talent the Lakers currently have. When he's healthy he's one of the best two-way players in the league. He's also not a ball dominant scorer, which I think fits with the move-the-ball/pass first way Luke wants the team to play. 

I also really like Cousins. If he returns to full health, he could be just what the Lakers need: a tough big man with a competitive spirit who can score the ball at-will from anywhere on the court. 

Obviously, neither player is available via free agency this summer, so the Lakers would have to acquire them through some kind of trade, which means they would probably have to give up players or future draft picks up to get them. That might not be a bad tradeoff, considering how great Cousins and Leonard are, however the thing to consider is what kind of players these guys are going to be coming back from their injuries. Both are a risk, but maybe because of that they may each come at a value.  

Edited by Andres

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