The big move finally happened as LeBron James agreed to join the Los Angeles Lakers. Heading into free agency, many assumed James would come in tandem with someone like Paul George or Kawhi Leonard, but that has yet to occur.
George decided to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder while a trade for Leonard has yet to materialize as both sides remain at a standoff. The Lakers have made a number of other signings in the meantime, but most agree that they aren’t quite championship caliber just yet.
One person who subscribes to that theory is Turner Sports analyst Charles Barkley. According to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Barkley believes James’ move to the Lakers won’t matter if he doesn’t get more help:
“I don’t care, but I wish him the best,” Charles Barkley said. “But him going to the Lakers won’t mean anything unless he gets some help.”
The question for the Lakers now is how they will go about acquiring that help. James has assured the team that they don’t need to rush into any big moves as he understands it is a long-term plan in Los Angeles. As such, the team seems to have reservations about giving up too much in a potential Leonard trade, and rightfully so.
With the Warriors adding center DeMarcus Cousins to the roster, the two-time defending champions remain head and shoulders above the rest of the NBA. The team’s additions of players such as Lance Stephenson, Rajon Rondo, and JaVale McGee could undoubtedly help the Lakers but doesn’t seem like enough to challenge the Warriors.
Barkley is right in that James will likely need more help in L.A. to get on Golden State’s level, but this front office has already shown that they are capable of making big moves and they aren’t satisfied with just one.
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