The Los Angeles Lakers have big plans this summer with hopes of adding a big-name free agent to pair with LeBron James.
They will have a lot of competition across the league as a number of teams will have max salary cap space. Coincidentally, their biggest threat my be their Staples Center co-tenants, the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Clippers have a ton going for them both on and off the court as a playoff team with a championship-proven head coach. Additionally, owner Steve Ballmer is one of the league’s richest and willing to spend money, and they have a strong front office further boosted by executive board member Jerry West.
It is these reasons, among others, that one NBA agent believes they may be the better free agent destination than the Lakers, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic:
“L.A. is a desired place of living — guys like to be there during the offseason,” an NBA agent told The Athletic. “And they have stuff that sets them apart from like the Lakers: continuity, cohesiveness. They have an owner who will do whatever it takes that’s possible.
While the Lakers remain in a state of flux — still searching for a replacement for president of basketball operations Magic Johnson as well as head coach Luke Walton — the Clippers offer a stability that could be attractive to potential free agents. A player could get all of the benefits of staying in Los Angeles without the pressure and media craziness that comes with being a member of the Lakers.
Of course, it is that pressure and standards that make the Lakers unlike any other franchise in the league. The Lakers have certain expectations, but the payoff of winning in the purple and gold makes up for it.
With teams like the Clippers, New York Knicks, and Brooklyn Nets all preparing to go after All-Star players, the Lakers will have their work cut out for them convincing them to sign in Los Angeles. The franchise will need to get all on the same page in hopes that they don’t wind up empty-handed.