Yes, Magic Johnson has said that Lonzo Ball is the face of the Lakers franchise after drafting him with the second overall pick in this year’s draft. It seems like destiny that this hometown kid will follow in Magic’s footsteps and lead the team back to greatness, but what if Johnson has a chance to make a franchise changing blockbuster trade?
Westbrook and George are both Cali kids and have made it clear that they want to play there next season. Oklahoma City just acquired George in a trade and have offered Westbrook a massive extension, but neither have commitments to anyone after this season. That being said, they could both walk, willingly hike down to LA and make their dreams come true, but nothing is certain in the NBA. If Westbrook hasn’t signed by the time the season starts, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a trade offer on the table between OKC and the Lakers.
Los Angeles has some players they could move to help set up OKC for the future and give them guys that may be more willing to stick around for awhile for a rebuild. Plus, if LA throws in a couple of future first round draft picks, these guys could be set up fat. OKC has been down this same road for awhile now, what if they could start rebuilding with pieces that could actually take them somewhere?
The Thunder have a contract sitting on the table that would pay Westbrook 20 million more than Steph Curry just got over that same 5 year period. You would think Russ would grab the money if that’s all he’s looking for, but he knows somebody will pay him, eventually, when he’s ready to choose a permanent home. Right now it’s seems clear that he’s not 100% sure it’s OKC. That could become a problem as the season approaches.
When you are talking about a trade that includes two superstars on one side, critics are going to judge it based on how earth-shattering the package is in return. My guess would be this one won’t be very amazin at all for OKC, especially considering they could potentially lose both players outright anyway, but if they can somehow convince the Lakers that they have other suitors they might be able to make it worth their while. Maybe, if they play their cards right they could get LA to include Lonzo Ball.
If Ball is involved in the deal, especially before the season, I think this trade becomes very possible. I know he also wants to be a Laker, but I think he’d find out fast that Thunder fans are loving, a bit more forgiving, and that he could own that city in no time.
As far as the Lakers go, if they could land Westbrook and George, and have the option to resign Brook Lopez, this looks like a team that could be competitive immediately. Add another star and they would be prepared to compete for the Finals.