The Los Angeles Lakers are in desperate need of superstars and that is why LeBron James is actively recruiting superstars for them. He has been making moves and hoping that he gets some help next season.
Two players that James has reportedly reached out to are Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard. It is funny that James is trying to recruit Leonard while Leonard is trying to carry his Toronto Raptors’ team to the NBA Finals. In James’ defense, Leonard has been vocal about wanting to go to Los Angeles so he put it out there and James heard him.
Brian Windhorst has insider information and honestly, I want to know his sources because he knows who James has been talking to. Here’s what Windhorst had to say.
“From what I understand, he has already begun the recruiting process. I’ve heard he has had contact with Kawhi Leonard. I’ve heard he has had contact with Jimmy Butler. There is no tampering enforcement by players. … The thing about it is, I don’t know if texts and calls and maybe a dinner with LeBron is enough for the Lakers to overcome the hurdles that they’re going to have.”
To land any superstars this summer, the Lakers will need all the help they can muster. Players are not flocking to Los Angeles and some of that is because of how the team is run and the other is that players don’t want to play second fiddle to James. We have seen other superstars play with James and they had to change their game to win and not every player wants to make that sacrifice.
Butler and Leonard are both great players and with the right teams, they can thrive. Leonard has tons of options and I think the Lakers are a long stretch. Part of that is because the Lakers are a mess and the other part is that he doesn’t really want to play with James. Leonard is in his prime and wants to lead a team like he is leading this Raptors team. He is proving that he is one of the best players on the planet and the first option on any team he will go to.
That cannot be said for Butler but that’s more because he doesn’t care about that. He has played the villain last year and has gotten a bad reputation as a result. Butler played great in the playoffs and teams will sign him because of that. The thing is that Butler isn’t a first tier superstar so he will have to wait until Kevin Durant and Leonard sign before teams reach out to him.
Will the Lakers end up signing either of them? The answer is no for Leonard and a maybe for Butler. He may want to play for a big market like Los Angeles but it may cause problems because of the massive media presence there. Butler is vocal and plays with his heart on his sleeve and we saw how that turned out last season. The Lakers were a mess last year and adding Butler may not be the best recipe but it will make for great television!