The Los Angeles Lakers have made no secret of their desire to sign two max-free agents this summer and the name at the top of that list is undoubtedly LeBron James. The Cleveland Cavaliers forward remains the best player in the NBA today and is a true game-changer who would immediately bolster the fortunes of the franchise.
Of course, the progress the Lakers make this season will go a long way in convincing any big-name star to join. While the team has had some serious flashes on the court, there have also been some off the court distractions surrounding the team as well.
Most notably, father of rookie Lonzo Ball, LaVar Ball, criticizing head coach Luke Walton. LaVar has spoken out against Walton on multiple occasions despite the organization requesting he no longer do so publicly.
In turn, many have been critical of LaVar and the distractions he brings. During an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, Fox Sports analyst Chris Broussard said that is something that could prevent LeBron from signing with the Lakers:
“I believe, with good reason, that LeBron James does not want to come to L.A. to join a circus with LaVar Ball. So, if you’re the Lakers, and you could get LeBron, but it meant you had to get rid of LaVar, which means you’d have to trade Lonzo, what would you do? Now, the only thing that makes it a question is the age.”
While it seems silly to think LaVar Ball could be the cause of the Lakers losing out on free agents, it isn’t difficult to think someone of LeBron’s caliber could be turned off by it.
The Lakers are already a long ways away from championship contention so going to a team like that, and having to deal with off-court distractions can’t be appealing.
The idea of facing the possible decision of having to trade away Lonzo in order to sign LeBron seems like a long shot from ever happening. However, if the Lakers were to have to make a choice it would signal whether or not the front office is willing to sacrifice their long-term future for short-term success.
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