The Los Angeles Lakers look to be in prime position to improve their roster this summer, whether through the oft-rumored move of signing LeBron James in free agency or through the opportunity to add Kawhi Leonard in a trade if the San Antonio Spurs follow through on rumors they’ll make the former MVP candidate available this summer.
Either player would massively improve the Lakers on the court, taking a roster that was competitive this season and giving them the type of superstar to push them back into the playoffs and beyond. And if the Lakers could add both? Well, they’d almost assuredly be an instant contender.
While such a summer haul might seem like a pipe dream, former Lakers head coach Byron Scott all but guaranteed it would happen during an appearance on ESPN’s SportsNation when Brian Windhorst suggested Leonard might be bound for the Clippers:
“First of all, that’s JV we’re talking about over there. I’m going to tell you something right now. LeBron is coming to the Lakers along with Kawhi. We back in the NBA Finals. It’s not going to get to that point. It ain’t going to get to that point, Showtime, I’m not going to go overboard, but it’s going to be close.”
When pressed on why the Lakers were actually a better fit for superstars, Scott shared his thoughts on their roster:
“I think, first of all, our younger players are much better. Obviously, we’ve got money under the cap, and this is L.A. This is the city where champions are made of, except if you’re a Clipper. I mean, this is a city where champions are made of. If you want to come to an organization that has a past history of winning. Seventeen championships. We don’t need a mascot.”
James and Leonard are going to make their decision based on a lot more than what organization has won more championships decades ago, but Scott does have a point about the Lakers’ young core being far more promising than that of the Clippers.
It remains to be seen how real of a contender either team is for both players, but if it comes down to which franchise has a more promising future in the building already, it’s hard not to argue that the Lakers have their “JV” team beat.