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Kawhi Leonard Joining the Los Angeles Lakers Would Destroy the NBA

On First Take, Stephen A Smith and Max Kellerman had a debate on what would happen if Kawhi Leonard joined the Los Angeles Lakers. It wasn’t much of a debate since they both kind of agreed with each other, but this may have been one of the very first times I actually agreed with what Max Kellerman said. He said that if Kawhi Leonard signs with the Lakers, they will “destroy the league.”

Max Kellerman nailed it right on the head. Kawhi Leonard joining the Los Angeles Lakers would destroy the NBA. Would it even be worth watching Lakers’ regular season games? By adding Kawhi, the Lakers would have three top-5 players in the NBA right now, and two of those players you could argue are the best player in the world today. To cut it short, the NBA wouldn’t be much fun to watch, kind of like when Kevin Durant joined the Warriors, but not as bad.

We would already know that the Lakers will win it all. LeBron, AD, and Kawhi will rest up during the regular season and will sit out like 20 games each with load management. The Lakers will sit these three stars out to save them for when it matters the most: the playoffs. And if they stay healthy come playoff time, they’ll steamroll through any team they go up against.

As much as I hate to admit it, the three of them playing together will work out. In my opinion, there would be no chemistry issues or times where egos will get in the way. At this point in his career, and seeing how unselfish he has been throughout his career, LeBron would probably take the backseat to both Kawhi and Davis. He’d still get his of course, but Kawhi and AD would run the show. 34-year-old LeBron would rest up for the playoffs and allow the 26 and 28-year-olds to take care of it.

I know what you’re thinking: they have no money to spend, and they have so many roster spots to fill. Here’s the thing, if Kawhi signs with the Lakers, the number of free agents who’d take a pay cut to join that team will rise. Players who weren’t looking for a cheap contract could reconsider in hopes of winning a title in LA.

It would not shock me for a second if we saw players like DeMarcus Cousins and Danny Green signing on. They can also target players that may get bought out by their teams, including Kyle Korver and Andre Iguodala. They can bring back veterans like Rajon Rondo and Tyson Chandler, and hell, maybe even bring in LeBron’s best friend Carmelo Anthony for some bench scoring. Oh, did I mention they’d still have Kyle Kuzma as a fourth option?

This team would be stacked, and barring any injuries, the Lakers would be heavy favorites to win the NBA championship. If Kawhi does this, it would be a weak move on his part. He just proved he can win a title on his own, but instead of facing new competition, he decides to avoid it by joining the Lakers.

This would be like Kevin Durant joining the Golden State Warriors all over again. They’ll run the league, and will most likely be the team that will hold up the Larry’O Brien trophy come June 2020. The NBA is finally starting to shift away from the superteam era, and this can change all of that.

For the sake of competition, don’t do it Kawhi.


Photo: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

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