The Los Angeles Lakers plan to be major players in free agency this summer with enough cap space for a max contract and the lure of playing alongside LeBron James. However, after a season that has to be considered disappointing after missing the playoffs for the sixth straight season, the Lakers may not be the top destination for the very best free agents on the market.
With that in mind, recent rumors have linked Los Angeles and Philadelphia 76ers swingman Jimmy Butler. On this episode of the LN News Feed, host Trevor Lane breaks down all angles of pursuing Butler and what acquiring him would mean for the team moving forward.
Of course, there are plenty of complicating factors, including potential chemistry issues as well as Butler’s age and mileage. For a Lakers team that hoped to be able to pair James with a superstar-level talent this summer, Butler may not be the home run that top-tier players like Kawhi Leonard or Kevin Durant would be.
Still, Butler does possess considerable talent, and his ability to act as a two-way win alongside James is intriguing. He has a tough, no-nonsense mindset that could resonate with the 34-year-old James who is laser-focused on winning with the Lakers.
The contract required to sign Butler, who will be 30 at the beginning of next season, could be rich enough to give the Lakers reason to hesitate, but the ultimate goal of putting talent around James will likely cause the team to be aggressive and throw caution to the wind.
Butler may not be the top choice but he might not be a bad consolation prize either if that’s the route the Lakers wind up going.