Hey All just posted an article for my site. Wanted to hear what you guys think of potential moves the Lakers can make this off-season. https://www.trademarkpod.com/single-post/2018/05/17/How-the-Lakers-Become-Golden-State The Lakers are rebuilding, no surprises there, but they are closer than many might think to challenging the leagues best. The Lakers plucked Head Coach Luke Walton away from the Warriors assistant coach nest. LA has also shaped their front office to mirror Golden State by bringing in a player agent to GM their team. Lastly, both owners are cutting edge and hate losing. Without question there is a strong connection to how both franchises run their business. On a macro level everything is verbatim. The Lakers are even building their foundation through the draft. Which Golden State capitalized on for years, and even still do. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green were all draft picks by the Warriors (and all stars) . The Lakers have matched by drafting, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Julius Randle. Rob Pelinka (Lakers GM) has also added two strong bench players in Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma. The problem so far is that Golden State is older and more experienced. Meaning, everyone knows how good the Warriors are. In fact they were so good they added the best scorer in the game, former MVP Kevin Durant. That GIF is just scary to watch... a 7'1 scorer that needs 10 inches of separation to swish a 38 foot three pointer. The Warriors are likely the best team of all time. ... Let that sink in... They have two MVP's on one team. The last team that was worth anything at all that had two MVP's was the Magic Johnson- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Lakers. Who won a few NBA games. But Laker fans don't get too depressed just yet. The Warriors whether or not they win the whole thing this year are going to be the best for at least a few more years. It does not mean they are going to win every title, but they will be the best team. Here is how the Lakers match Golden State... Initiate plan Light Speed Rebuild. First off the Warriors won a championship without Durant. They have also won one with him. They essentially traded Harrison Barnes for Kevin Durant. There were other corresponding moves made for KD to sign with Golden State, but in large part the biggest swap was KD signing and Harrison Barnes leaving. So first comes the hardest pill to swallow. The Exchange Essentially we are trading Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart for Kahwi Leonard. The Lakers would include this years late first and a future protected first, for a future Spurs pick swap. Depending on if the Spurs say yes; this is how the Lakers quickly start their rebuild for next season. Brandon Ingram is the Lakers best prospect BY FAR. But what if Ingram does not hit his projected ceiling? Does he become exactly what Harrison Barnes is now? Which in that case makes the Kahwi trade a much more palatable deal for a reasonable cost. Similar to how Golden State replaced Barnes. Fresh Blood: Lakers acquire: Lebron James, and Paul George via Free Agency Now we stray from the Golden State Model for a bit Both are over 20 point per game scorers. Can shoot the 3 with ease and have an idea how to defend. Lebron has taken plays off here and there this season. If he joined the new Lakers he would be able to play with a team on his level and not have to over exert energy he does not have. Then allowing him to lock up on D. Roster fillers: At this point the Lakers are out of money to give to other free agents besides players making the minimum amount of money, or their own players from last year. But players will want to take less money to play for a Championship level team. We have seen it for about 8 years now. Golden State has gotten so many players to take way less for their talent. All because the want some NBA Championship jewelry in their possession (and I blame 0%). Brook Lopez has said publicly he would return if the team was a contender. He also said he would take less money to play for that team. a 7'1" big man that can shoot three would fit right in. He would be a great hometown discount type player Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will likely test the open market this summer. He was a plus shooter from deep and contributed most games on defense. Still can get lost from time to time. After making 18 Million dollars last season I do not think he returns. Isaiah Thomas has a soft spot from Lakers management. However...."See ya!" is what they will say when other big names come aboard. Back Up Centers Nerlens Noel and Kyle O'quinn both get looks by the Lakers for potential mid-level exception type money*. Minimum players like Yogi Ferrell and Mario Hezonia might come very cheap and highly playable. The Decision: Julius Randle Will be answered next time. SO FAR: Lakers 2018-19 Line Up: C: Brook Lopez PF: Lebron James SF: Paul George SG: Kahwi Leonard PG: Lonzo Ball 6th man- Kyle Kuzma Key Role players: Nerlen Noel, Yogi Ferrell, Bryn Forbes That lineup would likely dominate for stretches and then become rotating and position-less. It would run freely with Lonzo pushing the ball. Lebron being able to pick his spots for detonation. Paul George can do what he loves which is play defense and shoot crazy 3's. Finally Kahwi Leonard could run his own team for about 25-27 minutes per game.Making Luke Walton's job tougher when he is sitting in a beach chair watching four hall of fame'rs run the league. Until next time, Tyler the NBA-hole *the mid-level exception, is a predetermined amount of money decided on by the NBA. Using the mid-level exception would not count towards the limit of total dollars spent to construct a team. Most players who accept the deal are B-/C+ level players.