This summer represents the best chance in a long time for the L.A. Lakers to reassume their position as a true heavyweight force in not only the Western Conference, but the NBA as a whole.
The Lakers have roughly $60 million worth of cap space available this summer - which is more than enough to hand out two max-contracts and build a serviceable bench - and they also have the second overall pick in this year's NBA draft on June 23.
Although the legendary Kobe Bryant has departed from the Staples Center, with him goes his dominant role on offence, commanding presence in the franchise and huge salary hit. All of a sudden, L.A. is a massive market that is ready for it's next poster boy.
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The Lakers have never been so attractive in free agency. With the great young core of Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, D'Angelo Russell and Larry Nance Jr, the Purple and Gold have a roster just waiting for an established star to steer them.
If one also factors in the money that's available, the historical significance of the franchise and the opportunity to guide such a storied outfit under a new and exciting coach like Luke Walton, then anything is possible this summer.
Clarkson, who, assuming the organisation retains him, is about to enter his third year as a Laker, believes that the acquisition of Walton from the Golden State Warriors is a tremendous coup.
In an interview on Power 106 LA, Clarkson suggested that the Lakers young core should be exciting at the prospect of operating under a similar strategy to the one that Walton has been a part of with the Golden State Warriors, which of course, has been wildly successful.
“I think it’s dope, it fits us really well. We got a lot of guys that can do a lot of things. Julius (Randle), D’Angelo (Russell), Larry Nance, including myself so I think it’s something we should be excited for.”
Now Clarkson just wants the Warriors' season to be done with so Walton can get the ball rolling with his new team. The former second-round draft pick might not have to wait long as the Oklahoma City Thunder lead Golden State 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals.
“I was real excited when I heard he got hired. It’s kinda one of those things where we’re just kinda waiting for (Warriors) to be done so he can come and start working.”
All things considered, anything really is possible for the Lakers right now. Most fans will proceed with caution this summer after enduring a few empty handed summers in free agency the past few years, but, regardless of what the franchise does in the draft or indeed, free agency, marrying Walton with the young and talented roster they already possess is an excellent start.