The Los Angeles Lakers are basically a perfect basketball team. Sure, they’ve lost Avery Bradley and made a few changes to their roster recently — adding role players like Markieff Morris, J.R. Smith and Dion Waiters — but at the end of the day, this is a team still built on the strength of it’s star duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
For a more detailed breakdown of how the Lakers’ roster has changed going into the bubble or what the individual players they added can bring, you can check out the preceding links in this sentence, but the bottom line is this: The Lakers will sink or swim on the performances of James and Davis. Anyone and anything they add is a luxury, not a necessity.
With that in mind, picking a player to add to this embarrassment of riches that has already nearly clinched the top seed in the Western Conference with a 49-14 record wasn’t an easy task. Should I go with someone to try and replicate Bradley’s skillset? Try and flesh out their center depth behind Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee? Add some more shooting? And which Disney character could fulfill those needs?
No, you didn’t hallucinate that last sentence due to an overdose of pixie dust. Because the NBA restart is taking place at Disney World, the entire SB Nation NBA network is drafting Disney characters (non-Star Wars/Marvel division) to add as an extra player on their roster for Orlando, otherwise known in the CBA as the House of Mouse Provision*. And with the seventh choice in the draft, I picked the Genie from “Aladdin” for the Lakers.
I also (obviously) went with the Robin Williams version. Sorry, Will Smith.
Genie is the perfect pick for the Lakers at No. 7, because he is one of the most versatile players in this draft. With the ability to change size at will and stretch and teleport himself all over the court, Genie is exactly the type of versatile contributor that will allow the Lakers to make up for any loss with his ability to play any position. Honestly, given the scope of his powers and abilities, the Lakers may have just created an unstoppable big three.
And even though he is less powerful now after being freed by Aladdin, the Genie still possesses “semi-phenomenal, nearly cosmic powers.” I’m not going to imply that we’ll have a cheating scandal on our hands here, but let’s just say the Genie may be able to help some of the Lakers’ shots get a few... lucky... bounces. Plus, as a mythical creature and not a human being, I think the Lakers can argue to the league that he actually doesn’t count for a spot in their 37-person traveling party, allowing them to bring an extra trainer or coach. Now that’s a nice benefit.
Expect the Genie to replace Bradley in the starting lineup, but also spend some time at every position on the floor. Frank Vogel has a new toy to play with in his lineup, and not to brag, but I may have just guaranteed that the Lakers win the championship. And that’s just with my first wish.