Every team would want LeBron James if it could have him, but the fact is, the King can only rule one court. As we saw in this past NBA Finals, the best player in the world doesn't guarantee a championship.
Championships are what the Los Angeles Lakers are fueled by.
Forget the fact that the team missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2004-05 campaign and just the second time in 38 years. The Lakers already have their sights set on the two biggest prizes in free agency.
Per ESPN.com's Chris Broussard, the Lakers would love to get James and Carmelo Anthony, but their Plan B isn't too shabby, either.
Lakers' dream is to add LeBron & Melo this summer. If that fails would go for CBosh & Melo, sources say. That's assuming Bosh opts out— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) June 27, 2014
If the Lakers could tab both Melo and Bosh, the team could put a Big Three on the court that rivals any currently in the NBA. A nucleus of Melo, Bosh and Kobe Bryant is formidable.
Melo spoke with Vice Sports about his impending free-agent decision.
What's great is that each man could play their natural positions with the team.
Bosh has been playing out of position the entire time he's been in Miami. He's a natural power forward and would be even more effective if allowed to play that position. Melo is a small forward, even though his strength and post-up ability allows him to have success close to the basket.
The same could be said for Bryant, but The Mamba is still a 2-guard with the range to his perimeter game to make plays away from the basket.
The threesome wouldn't exactly be young, but L.A. is a win-now organization.
Let's not forget that the Lakers got one of the more NBA-ready prospects out of the draft on Thursday in Julius Randle. As a sixth man, Randle could make an immediate impact.
Add in veteran ring chasers at center (perhaps Pau Gasol returns with a hometown discount) and point guard, and the Lakers are in position to make some noise.
Because of the mystique of the organization, the climate in L.A. and the atmosphere, the franchise will always be a magnet for top players who are free agents. That's the reason the Lakers can afford to sink a boat load of cash into three players who are all over the age of 30.
Once Bryant retires—presumably in two years—the Lakers will have a huge chunk of salary (approximately $25 million, per Spotrac) to throw at the best available players during the summer of 2016.
If L.A. can exact either of their plans, the falloff for the league's most successful franchise will be short.
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