The Los Angeles Lakers are one of three teams hoping to sign superstar free agent Kawhi Leonard. Unlike the Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Clippers, the Lakers are hoping to create a super team around Leonard, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis.
If the Lakers are successful in their pursuit of Leonard they will instantly become the heavy favorites to win the 2020 NBA Championship.
But what if Leonard spurns the Lakers and goes elsewhere? LN News Feed host Trevor Lane digs into their options.
Nothing is certain with the elusive Leonard, and with the speed that free agents flew off the market this year, the Lakers will have a limited number of targets to spend their $32 million in cap space on.
That said, there are still options available to put together a championship contender even without Leonard. The Lakers will have to sign the right free agents, with a focus on shooting and defense, but all is not lost if Leonard opts to sign elsewhere.
One somewhat tricky area may be the point guard position, as the market is particularly thin there. Lakers free agent Rajon Rondo is still available and could be likely to return, as is last season’s breakout Alex Caruso.
However, on a team that has plans to win now and could use a bonafide starting-caliber point guard, trading for Goran Dragic might make sense. The Miami Heat may be looking to send Dragic elsewhere after almost including him in the sign-and-trade that brought Jimmy Butler to South Beach. At a salary of just over $19 million, the Lakers could theoretically absorb Dragic’s deal and still have some money left over to spend.
From there, they could look at a shooting guard like Danny Green or big man DeMarcus Cousins, who is looking to rebuild his value after two straight injury-riddled seasons.
Make no mistake, the Lakers would be thrilled to land Leonard, but if they don’t they will still have opportunities to build a contending team.