It seems like ages ago now, but the previous offseason was a monumental one for the Los Angeles Lakers as the were able to acquire Anthony Davis from New Orleans in a blockbuster trade.
However, the Lakers front office was not done as they were aggressive in pursuing the other high-profile stars in the free agency market to pair with LeBron James and Davis to form the NBA’s next super team.
Kawhi Leonard was the dream target for Los Angeles, but he opted to sign with the Clippers instead.
While Leonard would have arguably made the Lakers nearly impossible to beat, there were still other players who could have made a major impact for the championship-starved franchise. One of those was Kemba Walker, who was mulling leaving the Charlotte Hornets after several unfruitful seasons.
According to Sopan Deb of the New York Times, Walker disclosed that the Lakers made a hard push to sign him:
But leaving Charlotte was a shock for Walker. He expected to stay, he said. Walker was eligible for a so-called supermax extension, but the Hornets came in with an offer that was less than that, conscious of paying the luxury tax. He began to consider other teams. At first, Walker said, he was heavily pursued by the Los Angeles Lakers, the Dallas Mavericks and the team he grew up closest to, the Knicks. He considered going home.
Walker of course ended up signing with the Boston Celtics, who had a pair of star wings in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. The three of them under head coach Brad Stevens are in the Eastern Conference Finals and among the more impressive units.
The All-Star point guard would have been a perfect complement next to James and Davis with his ability to shoot off the dribble and distribute the basketball, but it was not in the cards. The trio would have made for a fun Lakers roster, but both sides are doing just fine for themselves so far.
Potential Lakers, Celtics NBA Finals matchup
Prior to the 2019-20 season, the Milwaukee Bucks were the overwhelming favorite to make it out of the Eastern Conference but were surprisingly bounced by the Miami Heat in only five games.
The Celtics now trail the Heat after losing Game 1, but they are considered by some the favorite to reach the NBA Finals. With the Lakers four wins from accomplishing as much, the NBA’s most iconic franchises could be back on the main stage.
A Lakers-Celtics Finals would be full of storylines and would be one of the more exciting potential matchups to watch.
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