I think the opportunity to prove us all wrong when it comes to the Lakers establishing themselves as a desirable free agent destination starts and ends when they can figure out how to lure another star big man.
A guy like Jusuf Nurkic would be instrumental in the Lakers establishing a true young core that can compete. Also currently on Portland like Napier, Nurkic would need a reason to leave a team with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum running the show.
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And the Lakers are the only team that can give him a legitimate reason to do so.
Let’s say that by season end, Lonzo Ball has found more of his groove, but isn’t at his absolute best just yet. there’s still some kinks to work out in his game, and the chemistry is really starting to show. Add to that the potential for Brandon Ingram to become a star in his own right, all while Kyle Kuzma continues to play exceptionally well and slides into the starting lineup.
If the Lakers can have at least somewhat of a lost man’s clue what to do at shooting guard before approaching Nurkic, the selling point is pretty simple. This is now a team that can do at least as good as Portland can do, and with the addition Nurkic can be a top five team in the Western Conference in my opinion.
Imagine Nurkic hearing that coming from Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka.
Nurkic is a true big man, and unlike the other failed experiments at the position in recent memory, Nurkic would fit in well with a system that is designed around a pass-first point guard like Ball. He currently averages 15 points and just under eight rebounds per game.
It would be a ridiculous addition and he strikes me as the best dark horse candidate to land in Los Angeles with the Lakers by the end of the summer. Give him a three year deal worth $18 million and you’ve got yourself a great team heading into next year.