Los Angeles Lakers have been pretty good this off-season, as they were able to execute their plans to perfection. But the team had a lot of things to take care of. Primarily, the Lakers had to ensure they retain three crucial players – Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, and D’Angelo Russell. These players played essential roles in helping the LA side reach the conference finals.
Albeit, the Lakers had doubts regarding Russell. He did not live up to the expectations of the fans and the front office in the playoffs, especially in the Western Conference Finals. Many blamed him for the Laker’s loss to Denver Nuggets. But it might have been a little harsh as he was also one of the best players on the team during the regular season. But to be on the safer side the next season, the Lakers acquired quality players like Gabe Vincent from the Miami Heat, the runners-up of the last season. Later, they acquired Cam Reddish and Taurean Prince. Also, the team has young talents like Jalen Hood-Schifino and Jaxson Hayes. Hence, it looks like a pretty balanced side. However, the Los Angeles Lakers have a spot open for the 14th member. Can it be James Harden from the Philadelphia 76ers? Let us find that out.
Can The Lakers Acquire James Harden This Offseason?
According to Jason Reed of the Lake Show Life, the 17-time champions can acquire James Harden in exchange for a buy-low package of assets. Although for that, the Los Angeles Lakers may have to trade D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura, and Jalen Hood-Schifino, along with a few 2029 first and second-round picks. Even Reed knows that this theory is very unlikely. Because if that happens, it would be a very controversial deal. Apparently, Daryl Morey can drag a situation long enough for the Laker’s front office to decide to interfere.
James Harden: “Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of. Let me say that again: Daryl Morey is a liar and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of.” pic.twitter.com/AmHJ0WwbF2— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 14, 2023
Undoubtedly, James Harden is among the most polarizing players in the NBA. On top of that, he has not been consistent in the playoffs at all. Moreover, the Lakers have learned a good lesson after the case of Russell Westbrook. Hence, if the duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis pressures Rob Pelinka and co to acquire Harden, the Lakers can be in for a surprise. It is not new for NBA teams to take a chance at superstars if that means a chance at the title.
The Young Trio Can Prove To Be A Deadly Combination For The LA Side
At one point, the Lakers looked not likely to make the postseason. But D’Lo, along with Reaves and Hachimura, helped Anthony Davis to lead the 17-time champions to turn things around. Hence, the Lakers decided to keep D’Lo on the roster. They also planned to keep the core together as much as possible. That’s exactly what they did in the offseason.
Rob Pelinka and co. also signed Austin Reaves for a four-year extension worth $56 million. It was indeed a pretty good deal. Moreover, on the opening day of the offseason, the Lakers ensured their bench strength as they retained Rui Hachimura for a three-year extension worth $51 million. It is a good deal for both the team and the player. Later, they signed D’Angelo Russell for a two-year extension worth $37 million with a player option in his second year.