The rumbles and rumors about guys turning a blind eye to teaming up with LeBron are predicting a bleak summer for the Lakers. The constant media scrutiny and uncertainty are too much to stomach combined with underwhelming basketball. After a 111-98 loss to the Toronto Raptors last week, everyone was zeroed in on LeBron telling Kawhi Leonard that they’d be “in touch” after the game.
LeBron James a Kawhi Leonard:
“We will be in touch” 👀👀.
— Tercer Equipo NBA (@NBATercerEquipo) March 15, 2019
The thing that our eyes missed was the warm embrace between James and 2019 unrestricted free agent Danny Green. Green is a perfect running mate to both James and the Lakers young core. The two share a connection dating back to when they were teammates for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2009-2010 season. The two were often seen dancing along the sidelines and established elaborate handshakes. In the 2013 and 2014 NBA Finals, they traded championship wins.
Combining Green with Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram (hopefully) would be a coach’s defensive dream. As he’s been for the Raptors, Green would be the primary defender for the Lakers. His resume on that end speaks for itself. Green received the honor of being on the NBA All-Defensive second team in 2017 and isn’t far removed from this status.
Did I mention that Danny Green could shoot the hell out of the basketball? Currently, he sits at 43.7 percent from long range. To put that in perspective, the only Laker shooting over 40 percent is Alex Caruso at 58.3 percent in a short sample size of 13 games played. A deadeye shooter like Green means spacing for Ingram and James to keep open driving lanes.
LeBron previously expressed the trouble of getting guys to join him in Cleveland while speaking with Rachel Nichols earlier this season. Now James is in the beautiful city of Los Angeles with an intriguing set of young running mates and a whole lot of money that Green could make his own. At this point, Danny’s largest contract has been at four years, $40 million. The Lakers will have close to $35 million in cap space that they could possibly fit Green into, with or without another star acquisition.
The Raptors’ success is a roadblock between this union. There also isn’t a guarantee that Green wants to embrace everything that comes out of LA; this year was rough in the media and inside of the organization. The only hope is that Green’s been through plenty of trials of fire as a champion. Fans can hope the Lakers’ glory and a few texts on July 1st (or before then) from LeBron can sway him to California. If LeBron can use his player power to pull this off, the Lakers are sure to bounce back in the fall.