The Los Angeles Lakers’ loss to the Clippers on Tuesday night naturally led to a lot of discussion on the purple and gold’s glaring issues. While many of them were overreactions, some were reinforced evidence of problems that were already visible before the game was played.
Perhaps chief among those issues was the Lakers’ lack of a big wing who could defend Kawhi Leonard. Leonard’s former teammate, Danny Green, did an admirable job on the reigning Finals MVP but every time he was on the bench, Leonard was able to destroy any other Laker who attempted to guard him. Eventually, the Clippers star racked up 30 points in leading his team to the victory over a sloppy Lakers squad.
The Lakers will likely have to fix this issue in order to keep playing basketball in June. How they will achieve that remains to be seen but ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan revealed on the Hoop Collective podcast that several players around the league have told her they are convinced Grizzlies’ forward Andre Iguodala will join the Lakers at some point in the season:
“He’s going to the Lakers. I’ve had four different players tell me that. Every player I talk to tells me that.”
That’s obviously great news for the Lakers who, along with the Clippers, have been linked to the former Finals MVP since he was traded to Memphis by the Warriors.
Of course, a lot has to happen until this becomes a reality. Most importantly, Iguodala and the Grizzlies, who are holding out hope to trade the forward, must come to terms on a buyout agreement. He was not active for the team’s season-opening loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday. The Lakers would also have to waive a player to make room for Iguodala with DeMarcus Cousins and Troy Daniels the most likely casualties.
That all said, Iguodala is a scary great fit for the Lakers. The 35-year-old is likely to take it easy during the regular season, but when the playoffs come, he would easily become the team’s best perimeter defender and second-best perimeter playmaker – two vital needs for the squad right now. With reports that Iguodala is a “lock” to re-join the Warriors next year for a final run, the Lakers will be hoping to get a few months out of the three-time champion to make their own run at a title.