One of the biggest concerns for the Los Angeles Lakers has been attracting free agents. Last season, many fans were convinced that the Lakers never stood a chance in the top free agency market, citing Byron Scott and the inexperienced young core as the reasons.
This season, however, I believe that many free agents have their eyes set on the Lakers, noting the incredible young talent in D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and Brandon Ingram and the upgraded coaching staff. So far (in my dreams), I have imagined two free agents over the next two years that the Lakers could pursue.
First, I really like J.J. Redick alongside D’Angelo. Overshadowed by Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, Redick is easily a top five perimeter shooter. Last season, Redick shot an impressive 47% from three, attempting five per game and making a total of 200 for the year. D’Angelo is very good at getting his teammates open and finding them open as well, which would bode well for a lights out shooter like J.J.
I feel like Redick is a bit underrated. I rarely see him get any credit for his ability to shoot the ball from long range. I’d even put him up there with Klay Thompson in terms of three point shooting. The only thing that concerns me with J.J. is his age and his lackluster athleticism, making defense a challenge for him against bigger, quicker opponents.
J.J. will be an unrestricted free agent in 2017 alongside his teammates Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
Number two, in my opinion, would be Paul George in 2018. I understand that breaking up the young core would hurt the team in the end (which is why I say do *not* touch them for the first few years), but if it meant securing Paul George and possible championships, they must understand that business is business.
Paul would fit in *perfectly* with this team. A three time All-Star and three time All-NBA Defensive Team member, George would, essentially, be the key free agent. Putting PG on a team with Brandon Ingram would be amazing in terms of defense. Ingram and George, both tall and long, would be tough to challenge.
PG is an elite scorer from all over the court using his excellent footwork to find his shot, a good passer, a hustler on both offense and defense, and a good rebounder.
Ever since Kobe Bryant announced his retirement, Lakers fans have been pondering over the next Lakers star. Paul George, a SoCal born kid, idolized Kobe Bryant. In fact, PG imitated the Mamba when he was a little kid.
In an interview with Fox Sports: Indiana, PG-13 spoke about Kobe Bryant’s legacy:
Everything that Kobe did, I used to try to do when I was little.
Being out in the front of the yard, doing the whole three second shot clock countdown and then you shoot it and you’re like, “Kobe!” You know, that was me just remembering everything from the pump fake to the death stare. When he leaves, it’s going to be rough but I think the best thing about it is all these young guys, these players. His legacy still lives on.
Here’s the video:
Paul George talks about imitating Kobe when he was a kid and the legacy he will leave behind. via @FSIndianahttps://t.co/QpknkTdm7r
— FOX Sports: Hoops (@HoopsonFOX) February 9, 2016
What would sound better to the young forward than to take his idol’s place? A kid born in California as a Lakers fan, given the opportunity to take the Lakers back to the top alongside D’Angelo Russell and the rest of the young core.
Putting free agency aside, this is the beginning of a new era for Lakers basketball. Get excited, Lakers fans. It is time to see the purple and gold shine once again.
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