The Los Angeles Lakers’ offseason continues.
Has it been fun? That depends on who you ask. Ask any one of the fans who support the 29 other teams in the Association, and they’ll probably tell you that they’re having the time of their lives watching this all unfold. Lakers fans? They just want to fast forward to July’s free agency and hope that the likes of either Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, or Anthony Davis come in to save the day.
The LeBron James/Lakers era has been somewhat of a nightmare since the actual 2018-19 regular season started. Can it get better and turn into a dream come true with LeBron continuing to cement his already infamous legacy by winning the Lakers franchise its 17th championship? Will the nightmare continue, with the Lakers’ front office continuing to make headlines for all the wrong reasons and the 2019-20 regular season ending in another failure?
All of that remains to be seen, and much of that will be affected by the events of this summer. There are many paths that can lead to a dream-like scenario and, of course, I don’t need to remind Lakers fans that there are many things that can lead to a nightmare-type scenario. I’m going to try and spell out the different situations that could happen this summer, and what the expected outcome could be in reference to the overall 2019-20 season.
Dream Scenario #1: The team signs Kawhi Leonard and keep the young core
Sources: As trade talks have unfolded, Kawhi Leonard’s focus is unchanged: He wants to be a Laker. https://t.co/0wZGf5MrNt
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 2, 2018
Out of all the superstar free agents that will be available this summer (Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, etc.), I’d say Kawhi Leonard is the best and most realistic option. We aren’t even a year removed from when Kawhi and his camp were using every opportunity available to leak that Kawhi wanted to be traded from the San Antonio Spurs to the Lakers. The Spurs played hardball with the Lakers, and he was eventually traded to the Toronto Raptors.
He’s been heavily rumored to be heading to the Los Angeles Clippers as well as possibly staying in Toronto, but the door hasn’t been shut on the Lakers. If he came, the Lakers would still have Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart to compliment LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard. The monumental signing would leave more room for error for the rest of the roster being filled out, which would benefit a front office that lacked in that area the last offseason. Ultimately the signing would seemingly bring the Lakers back to the playoffs, if not to title contention.
Dream Scenario #2: You’re in a relationship with the love of your life, a young Jack Nicholson invites you to a dinner party at your house, and the team trade for Anthony Davis then sign Kyrie Irving
Picture this. You’re sitting on your couch watching your TV. All of a sudden, your phone starts buzzing with Twitter alerts. You look back up to the TV and see Kyrie Irving has decided to re-join his old pal, LeBron James. They’re going to try and run it back together to see if they can win their 2nd championship. The Pelicans then succumb to the pressure and trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers for the young core and the 4th overall pick. Shortly after, the woman/man you’ve always had a crush on comes in and gives you a kiss.
Woah! You two are in a relationship. This is great! She/He asks you, “Why aren’t you ready? Jack invited us over to his party tonight!”
Next thing you know you’re in THE Jack’s house. Jack Nicholson, the most famous Lakers fan ever and one of the most famous actors ever. You walk in, the drinks are flowing, and there are famous people everywhere. Even that one guy who sits by Jack during every single Lakers game is there. You know, THAT guy. Everything is great. Jack even walks by and says, “Hey [insert name here]. You’re, uh, lookin’ pretty sharp.”
Holy s—! Jack Nicholson just acknowledged you. What is going on?! Come to think of it, he’s looking pretty young…like…“The Shining” young.
All of a sudden, you wake up. You’re back in real life. It was all a dream. You look at your TV that’s on and…
Nightmare Scenario #1: Kawhi Leonard signs with the Los Angeles Clippers. Kyrie Irving goes to the Brooklyn Nets. Kevin Durant signs with the New York Knicks. Klay Thompson stays with the Golden State Warriors. Jimmy Butler re-signs with the Philadelphia 76ers. The Los Angeles Lakers sign DeMarcus Cousins
This combination of free agency decisions is possibly the worst set of circumstances for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The team they share a stadium with continues to be better than them, the only franchise that is as dysfunctional as them gets arguably the best player in the league, and the rest of the superstars go elsewhere as the Lakers take a 6’11” 270-pound center coming off a recent Achilles tear.
The Lakers have been interested in DeMarcus Cousins before (as recent as the last offseason according to Marc J. Spears of ESPN), and I don’t doubt at all that they’d take a look at him if the other players start going elsewhere as July kicks off.
As everyone knows, the phrase “Achilles tear” doesn’t resonate well with Lakers fans. It would probably help the Lakers improve, but I don’t know about championship aspirations with Boogie. Either way, that scenario is nothing compared to the nightmare of…
Nightmare Scenario #2: Kurt Rambis is officially named President of Basketball Operations. At the press conference announcing the decision, he sheds his skin to reveal that he’s an alien insect from space. He was sent long ago to win with the Lakers as a player, building trust within the organization to eventually destroy them from the inside years later.
Before you think that this is an absolutely wild scenario that would never happen, tell me this.
Did you ever think old-man Kobe Bryant would go off for 60 points (on what I remember to be 87 shots) during his final game ever? What about the idea of LeBron James ever being a Laker? I bet you didn’t think there was any way in hell that Magic Johnson would just up-and-quit on the final day of the regular season. So don’t tell me that it’s crazy that I think Kurt Rambis is secretly an alien insect in disguise.
Now – you might be thinking that that sounds exactly like a plot point in the Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones movie, ‘Men in Black’.
To that, I say…you’re absolutely correct because I took it straight from that movie.