With the NBA Finals underway, we are mere days from the offseason. This summer, the Los Angeles Lakers will have to show that they aren’t the tire fire we’ve seen over the last couple months, sign a top-level free agent and potentially trade for another star.
Oh, and while they attempt to do all that, they’ll be operating under a ticking clock on LeBron James’ legacy as a member of the Lakers. No pressure at all, and it’s good to know the absolute best possible candidates are tasked with taking care of all that.
Today’s Locked on Lakers covers all kinds of topics (as is always the case with mailbag episodes), but one in particular seems to garner quite a bit of attention from a fan base desperate to know who their next star could be.
A listener asked whether Bradley Beal could be acquired for less than it would take to trade for Anthony Davis and, if so, whether it makes more sense to acquire Beal and still have a couple assets either to continue to build with in other personnel moves or try to develop in-house, something our own Harrison Faigen and Jacob Rude also debated on the latest episode of the Silver Screen and Roll podcast:
And as far as Beal vs. Davis goes, it really all depends on how much better you think Davis is than Beal. An overly-simplified version of this question is whether you believe that Davis is equal to Beal plus, say, Brandon Ingram (assuming Davis costs both Ingram and Lonzo Ball, plus other stuff).
If you think Davis is just that much better (and there’s an argument to be made), then great. This is a pretty straightforward conversation. If you think Beal is capable consistently of what he showed after John Wall went down, maybe you think twice. But remember, if that is who you think he’ll be, Washington will likely also feel that way, and you might end up having to give up more than you think to get him.
This is where it’s important to bring up Beal’s coming up short in All-NBA voting, thus costing him that super max extension. Ironically, for the Lakers or any other team trying to acquire Beal, him not being eligible for that contract might actually make him harder to land. Washington’s cap situation is such a disaster that they might not have been interested in paying him and Wall both their insane contracts, but with him at a much more manageable rate, they have just a little more leverage in trying to keep him, ironically.
Goodness, that super max contract is such a disaster.
Anyway, today’s show covers that, free agency, uniforms and more. You can listen to the entire episode below, and make sure to subscribe on iTunes, where you can also leave questions in the form of a five-star review to guarantee your topic makes the show.