The Los Angeles Lakers have already embarked on an offseason that could shape their near future. After a disappointing inaugural season with LeBron James, the organization has made it clear that anything short of signing a star free agent to be his sidekick would be a failure.
Unfortunately for them, there is no certainty that they will be able to accomplish that. There are several other teams with the cap room to make a splash with one or two of the many stars available on the market. One of those teams is the LA Clippers, who have put themselves in an enviable position to compete now with an eye on the future.
In fact, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, they are turning enough heads to make it seem as though they will be the more coveted free agent destination:
“L.A. is a desired place of living — guys like to be there during the offseason,” an NBA agent told The Athletic. “And they have stuff that sets them apart from like the Lakers: continuity, cohesiveness. They have an owner who will do whatever it takes that’s possible.
“They have a nice blend of young talent with guys who are role players and excelling and thriving in their roles,” the agent continued. “If you’re a star and you come in, they already have guys who know their roles. In other situations, you try to bring in role players and have to deal with role allocation and adjustments. I think any star would be a seamless fit with the Clippers.”
It’s definitely an interesting debate.
The Lakers have LeBron James, still probably the best player in the world, and a solid collection of young talent that can, at the very least, be an army of effective role players.
The Clippers are more competitive now, have veteran role players that have built cohesiveness making them better than the sum of their parts and seem to be a much more stable organization.
The Lakers are going to have to really do their homework to pitch top free agents to come play for them. They don’t have all the advantages they usually do but the opportunity to play with an all-time great who is still going strong is something that should make them competitive even with all the organizational missteps.