LeBron James and the Lakers need another superstar, we all know that. Trading for Anthony Davis is the most likely way this comes about, and while that would be a major win for Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka, it would not be enough. In order for it to be, they need impending free agent Klay Thompson.
The expectation for the LeBron-led Lakers is championships, and with what they would have to give up to get Davis, the roster does not add up to a championship team in this era. In all likelihood, it is going to take three of the four young Lakers and probably the most promising one, Kyle Kuzma. This would leave a Lakers team with two of the best players in the world, and, well, not much else. Certainly, a good, dangerous, glamorous team, but not exactly a squad equipped to take down the Warriors — with or without Kevin Durant. Unless they can take away one of the Warriors most vital pieces.
Even though Wojnarowski is saying that in order for this to happen it would come via the Warriors not offering Thompson a max contract, it is the first time someone like Woj has suggested he is at least interested in another situation. This hypothetical not only would give the Lakers the best Big 3 in the NBA, one of the best ever, but it would bring the Warriors back down to a level of, well, beatable. Thompson is the Warriors third best player but is a close second in terms of importance to Steph Curry.
Out of the many superstars over the years that have been rumored as LeBron’s next teammate, none would complement him as much as Thompson. And that is on both ends of the floor. The Big 3 in Miami was an awkward fit on the floor until Dwyane Wade took a major backseat. Style-wise it would not be needed for LeBron (yeah right), Davis, or Thomspon to alter their games if this ever came to fruition.
There is, however, a less flashy, and fun option for the Lakers, if they can’t get Thompson. And this is to take the chance and let a team rent Davis, and then sign him in free agency in another year. A roster of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, and Brandon Ingram is sure closer to a threat to the Warriors than one with three of those players missing. The issue is that it would require LeBron to wait and accept another year of not competing for a championship. If he is not willing to do that, and they can’t add Thompson, this dream pairing of LeBron and Davis is going to end up the definition of “disappointing.”