Once the Los Angeles Lakers handed Anthony Davis and LeBron James massive contracts this offseason, it looked like the team was accepting that they aren’t planning on landing a third superstar in the near future. LeBron and Davis both took max money, so it would be very difficult to fit in a third max contract. However, it’s not impossible.
Yahoo Sports’ Keith Smith seems to believe that there is a path for the Lakers to land a third superstar:
How could the defending champs bring a third star to LA to suit up with James and Davis? It may have to be via sign and trade. After going dormant for a few years, sign and trades have come back in a big way over the last two free agency periods. For the Lakers, who will be over the cap, this is one path to adding a third star.
Pelinka could send out a package of Caldwell-Pope, Gasol and any number of players who could be signed and traded like Schroder, Kuzma or Caruso. That’s enough to get the Lakers in the $35-40 million dollar range it would take to acquire a star free agent.
Smith also mentioned that it would be possible to put together a trade package that would land a star who is currently under contract.
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Which 3rd Star Could Lakers Target?
With the NBA offseason nearing its end, it doesn’t seem likely that any more superstar players get moved. There have been rumors that have linked the Lakers to players like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bradley Beal or even Damian Lillard. However, all three of those men have suggested they’d prefer to stay put.
Out of the three, Beal would be the ideal fit. He’s a great shooter and elite scorer. He’d play really well next to LeBron and Davis. He’s said that he’d prefer to build a winner in Washington and they just gave him Russell Westbrook. The Wizards could be a playoff team this year and that would do a lot to ensure that Beal signs another long-term deal.
Lillard has never made it seem that he wants to leave Portland and has even called out players who jump around the league. Unless the Trail Blazers are terrible, Lillard isn’t going anywhere.
Giannis seemed like the likely target for a while. His brother plays in Los Angeles and has said he’d like to play with all of his brothers. Giannis doesn’t really fill a need for the Lakers but he would give them the greatest “big three” of all time.
Lakers Don’t Really Need 3rd Star Right Now
At the end of the day, the Lakers really don’t need a third star right now. They won the championship last year and have added some good pieces this offseason. Also, there doesn’t appear to be a team in the NBA that is on their level.
Davis and LeBron are the NBA’s best duo and the Lakers have surrounded them with great role players. Unless a Golden State Warriors-esque powerhouse emerges, Los Angeles doesn’t have a ton to worry about.
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