10 Reasons Why The Lakers Will Need LeBron James
LeBron James In Purple and Gold?
LeBron James in the purple and gold
With inquiries and rumors about Kobe Bryant's retirement, come conversations about who the Los Angeles Lakers will choose as their next franchise player. If you consider the Lakers the king of all NBA franchises, then, there is only one logical choice: LeBron James.
ESPN reports: “Several teams’ executives have told ESPN.com they believe the Lakers are positioning themselves to make a run at LeBron James in 2014, when the Miami Heat star can choose to become a free agent.”
Will LeBron leave Miami? He left Cleveland with the promise of winning eight championships. He left the city that raised him for brighter lights. LeBron needed for more glory, more endorsements, more fame, more celebrity, and more winning to become LeBron.
James can be lured and there isn't a single NBA team better at attracting star players than the Lakers.
The state of LA basketball is changing. The Lakers organization has just entered a new era. However, it is a temporary one. The ideal head coach is 70-year old Phil Jackson. Kobe Bryant has started to talk retirement. Steve Nash has three years left. Dwight Howard is a flight risk. Soon the Lakers will need James in order to maintain their dominant and winning culture.
While the Lakers roster might change, the culture does not.
The Lakers sometimes want players they don't need. One can argue that a team doesn't need four franchises players when every other team has one, two or three.
Soon, the Lakers will need to reload their roster. And, they will need not just new players but a new franchise player. The Lakers will need James.
Ten Reasons The Lakers Will Need LeBron James
James promised eight championships. A ring for every finger.
The Lakers aren't shy that they structure the entire franchise around the goal of winning championships. Bryant is the ultimiate competitor so he is naturally a Laker, James is currently short seven rings...
The Lakers will need a player who wants championships as much as they do.
9. Can't Reload With Draft Picks
The Lakers rarely get a first round draft pick.
They don't "develop" players. One could argue that the last player the team drafted and raised into his peak years was Bryant.
They're completely dependent on free agency and trades.
They sign and trade players in the prime of their careers, like Howard and Pau Gasol.
8. James Is A Team Player
James might be the best player in the NBA but he is number 13 on the payroll list.
He is set to make $17,545,000, less than Brandon Roy and Joe Johnson, but the same as teammate Chris Bosh. Dwyane Wade makes less than both by a small margin. The
No one on the Lakers current roster took less money to play for a "superteam" like the big three did.
So the luxury tax bills will start coming in, Lakers won't be able to keep up their current spending. James is willing to take a reasonable contract if it allows a team to afford other top players as teammates.
7. Replace Kobe
It will be a sad day for the Lakers when Bryant hangs up his Nikes.
If Bryant retires in 2014, the Lakers will need to bring in a superstar as fast as possible. Especially, if things go as planned and Bryant retires after winning a championship.
There cannot be a gap between the Kobe era and their next superstar.
6. Great Business
The team James plays for will be the Lakers biggest competition for years to come. If James were to sign with another Western Conference team, the Lakers will have to face that team in order to make the finals.
It is good business to sign James because they don't want to have to beat him.
5. Franchise Player of all Franchise Players
Before Lob City, it was ShowTime.
LA loves flashy franchise players.
James dominance, skill and energy puts him among the most elite franchise players in the history of the sport.
The speculation stories are already out there, in mass numbers. When it comes time for James to make his next Decision, the Lakers failing to bring him to LA will make any other signing bitter sweet.
If LeBron is an option, anyone will be a bit of a letdown.
James has never played in a basketball city like Los Angeles, Boston, or Chicago.
These cities became basketball cities because their market always get the greats, like Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Larry Bird, Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, and Kobe Bryant.
No one remembers Jordan as a Washington Wizard.
The Lakers legacy is carried on the backs of the legends that wear their jerseys.
3. Winning Culture
Mike Brown was fired by Lakers management less than two weeks into regular season. He was fired on game day.
The Lakers have a culture. A culture of winning. Their roster and staff must embody that spirit.
The team that signs James will ensure itself a bright future.
Bryant and Pau Gasol's contracts both expire in the same year. Dwight Howard is yet to sign an extension.
An anonymous NBA GM told ESPN: “It’s not a mistake that all those deals end the same year Kobe’s does. They have probably been planning for their next phase for a while. The Busses and [Lakers GM] Mitch [Kupchak] are always thinking about the next big deal.”
The Lakers have only committed $9 million dollars for the 2014-2015 season.
Kupchak clearly has a plan in mind for the future of the Lakers.
1. Avoid True Competition In LA
Chris Paul is one of James closest friends in the league.
Paul is yet to sign a contract extension with the Los Angeles Clippers.
If Paul stays with the Clippers and spends the best years of his year there, then the power structure of the west will change. LA won't be Lakers territory anymore.
Blake Griffin has already signed a deal with the
Shaq might have been onto something when he said DeAndre Jordan is the best center in the west.
The Clippers are fun to watch and their tickets are cheaper.
In the future, the Clippers will have some of the best players in the league in their postions. The only way to challenge them is to get the best player in the league.