Since Kobe Bryant retired at the end of last season, there’s been one thing destinctively missing from the Los Angeles Lakers that we’ve become so used to seeing – a superstar. From Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor in the 60’s and 70’s, through to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson in the 80’s, through to Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant in the late 90’s and 00’s, we’ve become accustomed to seeing players who are arguably bigger than the league itself wearing purple and gold.
Right now, the Lakers are in a period of change and flux, with no distinctive superstar on their roster. Lakers President of Basketball Operations, Magic Johnson wants to change that, according to his sttatements on AM570 this morning.
“The Lakers have always had a super star…that is what we are going to try and bring in here.” -Magic Johnson just now on @AM570LASports
— Jason Stewart (@JasonStewart) April 17, 2017
Judging by the statement, Magic isn’t necessarily looking to develop the suite of young talent that the Lakers currently have in D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr and Ivica Zubac into being that ‘superstar’ and is more talking about bringing a big name into the franchise through free agency.
This year, the chances would be pretty slim for the Lakers to find that superstar. The biggest free agents in the class are Steph Curry and Kevin Durant and it doesn’t seem likely that they’ll leave the Golden State Warriors. Furthermore, it would be a tough ask to see Chris Paul or Blake Griffin move across the hall in Staples Center to the Lakers.
If they try to hit-it-hard in free agency in 2018, they will definitely try and have a good play at Los Angeles natives in either Russell Westbrook (who has talked about his long-term commitment to the OKC Thunder) or Paul George who has often had his name linked with the franchise.