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LeBron James: Being a Laker

K.s. Akkash
CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
2.15K   //    22 Jul 2018, 21:45 IST

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LeBron James

The buzz of the King James leaving his home Cleveland for the second time started when Kyrie Irving demanded a trade, after losing the finals to the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and here we are after one year watching the king heading to another team and this time is the lakers.

Why Lakers?

LeBron had a handful of choices in the form of the 76ers, Rockets, Lakers and he had a choice of staying in Cleveland too.

Cap Space Issue:

* The Rockets remained the least favorites as they did not have the cap space to attract LeBron, they were already hard capped and adding LeBron will eventually make them release some of their key pieces like PJ Tucker, Eric Gordon who played a crucial role for the Rockets last season and ask the CP3 and Clint Capela for a pay cut to fit LeBron in the roster which is least likely to happen.      

*The other teams had enough cap space to offer LeBron a max contract. Cavs would have offered him $205 million for five years (at an average of $41 million per year), while the rest of NBA would have only offered him $154 million for four years (at an average of $38.6 million per year), but the Cavs neither had the roster nor had enough cap space to attract other free agents to make LeBron stay.

Why not the 76ers?

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Four
SIMMONS AND EMBID

*From the above discussion, it is very clear that the Cavs and Rockets didn’t have enough to land him. So we are only left with two teams The Lakers and the 76ers. 

*76ers had all that’s necessary to land the King, they had the roster, they already have two potential future Hall of Famers in the form of Ben Simmons and Joel Embid. The problem with the 76ers is the balance of their roster. They already have a primary guard in the form of Ben Simmons who can't play off the ball and he had his shooting woes this season. He only shot 56 percent from the free throw line and he attempted only 11 three-pointers throughout the regular season and most of those attempts were made when the shot clock was expiring. LeBron usually likes to have shooters around him, especially those who can shoot beyond the arc. LeBron can fit in the roaster only if he decides to play off the ball which is a non-LeBron thing.

*Philadelphia is a smaller city as compared to Los Angels and he already has a film production company and a couple of homes in Los Angels. So all these combined aspects made it easy for LeBron to go to the Los Angels Lakers.

The Storied Franchise:

Los Angeles Lakers 2018 NBA Draft Workout
Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers have had a long and storied history. They have won 16 championships and are just one behind the Boston Celtics. The Lakers have the most number of finals appearances (31) in the NBA. The Lakers have always produced great players in the NBA like Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant etc.., and they had players like Kareem, Shaq who came to Lakers from other franchises, became greats of the game and won multiple championships in the LA. So LeBron has just followed the footsteps of Kareem and Shaq and decided to be a Laker.

LeBron's book is already written and he will clearly go down as the greatest player in the NBA history. So going to the Lakers will add an extra punch to his career.

What's Next for LeBron:

LeBron has signed a 4-year deal with the Lakers on July 6th, 2018. With Lakers landing Rondo, Lance Stephson and Javel Mcgee their roster looks good to clinch the 3rd or 4th seed in the west, here LeBron is surrounded by a good bunch of boys like Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma, and Lonzo Ball all these youngsters are potential All-Stars.

LeBron too knows the trio of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball are extremely talented as this young trio had put on a combined figure of 59pts and 18 assists against the Cavs at the Staples Center on December 14th, 2017.

The first year for LeBron in the Lakers will not be a title contending year but LeBron can seriously help the youngsters to gain important playoffs experience.

The 2019 Offseason:

2019 offseason is the most awaited offseason in the history of the NBA. The most anticipated free agents in the next offseason are Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, DeMarcus Cousins (if he proves he is fit enough), Kevin Durant if the Lakers can sign any one player from the above mention list they automatically become a title contender.

The GOAT?

Related image

LeBron signing a four deal to the Lakers shows that he wants to end his career in Los Angeles. He has all the stats intact to gain the GOAT from Michael Jordon except the three more rings that MJ has.

If LeBron can help these youngsters win one or two titles being the best player in the team, these youngsters will, in turn, help LeBron win a couple more rings when he ages and becomes the second or even third best player in the side. So this will make LeBron level with MJ in the number titles won, so it is very much important to hold on to the young bunch of boys together with The King James for the Lakers to succeed.

The Young Trio:

Lakers have enough cap space to sign another superstar in the next offseason and this young trio will at least take a couple of years to reach their prime.

Image result for lakers trio

Lonzo Ball had just played 52 games in his rookie year due to injury problems and he recently had undergone a knee surgery. Lonzo has to prove his fitness and should learn how to play off the ball because the Lakers roster has a lot of veteran playmakers like LeBron, Lance Stephson, and Rondo. If Lonzo can solve his shooting woes and the above-mentioned problems that is posses, he could be the perfect fit for the Lakers lineup along with LeBron.

Brandon Ingram scored 16.2 points per game last season which is almost double to what he scored in his rookie season. He can be a great two way player in the future. He has a 7'3 wingspan and can jump over any defender to make a jump shot. He is a good defender too, he can defend big bodies with his large wingspan. He is a decent three-point shooter. He shot 40 percent from beyond the arc last season.

Kyle Kuzma is exactly what LeBron wants. Kuzma is a great shooter, he shot 37 percent from the arc last season and made a total of 159 three-pointers last season. Kuzma easily fits into this roster.

Magic Johnson'S Envision:

Image result for magic johnson lakers

Magic wanted to reduce LeBron's workload and he decided to add a few playmakers. So he added playmakers like Rondo and Lance Stephson to the roster. Magic wanted to have a number of playmakers to break down the opponent's defense. He wanted to have tough guys as the toughness worked for Rockets against the Warriors in playoffs, both Stephenson and Ronjo are tough guys, moreover, he wanted to create a playoff team. We also saw how good Ronjo can be in the playoffs (for the pelicans in the last postseason). This is the reason why Magic added Lance Stephenson and Ronjo to the roster.

The addition of Javale Mcgee provides much needed vertical and lob threat as Lopez left to the Bucks.

The Author's Envision:

The Lakers with its young trio yet to reach their prime, without the addition of one more superstar alongside LeBron and with their addition of Lance Stephenson, Rondo and Mcgee are good enough to clinch 3rd or 4th seed in the west and Lakers can really have a good playoff run (as their roster is specially made for that) but I don't see them as a title contender in the upcoming season.

Adding another superstar to this roster alongside LeBron and this young trio will form a deadly lineup, I am suggesting this only because Lakers have the cap space to sign another superstar in the next offseason.

So Lakers will definitely end their 5-year playoff drought in the upcoming season and we will see them becoming champions once again this time under LeBron James sooner rather than later.

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K.s. Akkash
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