Los Angeles Lakers: Best and worst free agency outcomes

(Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Worst Outcome:

After the Lakers cleared enough money for a max free agent, Kawhi Leonard announced that once free agency opens on July 1st he’ll meet with the Lakers and Clippers and then he’ll let the Raptors make their pitch.

That’s great news, because Kawhi just established himself as the best player in basketball, but with Leonard’s declaration that he’ll sit down with the Purple and Gold things could also go south quickly for LA.

Here’s how the Lakers worst free agency outcome could play out:

  1. Kawhi decides that he’ll meet with the Clippers on July 1st, then the Lakers on July 2nd, and finally the Raptors on July 4th. Then, Leonard waits two, three, or even four days to make his decision.
  2. In the meantime, the other max level free agents that have shown interest in joining the Lakers such as Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, and Klay Thompson sign deals with other teams.
  3. Simultaneously, all of the best 2nd tier free agents that the Lakers covet like Danny Green, Bojan Bogdanovic, Terrence Ross, Patrick Beverley, Dewayne Dedmon, and Marcus Morris also sign with other teams during the first week of free agency.
  4. Finally, Kawhi chooses to sign with the Clippers or the Raptors, leaving the Lakers in the lurch.

In this scenario the Purple and Gold would be forced to climb down the ladder a rung and chase 3rd tier free agents to fill out the massive holes in the roster.

The Lakers could end up with this roster or one similar in nature:



While the lineup shown above is still a top-5 roster in the Western Conference, it would definitely leave Lakers fans with a sour taste in their mouths. Making matters worse, if either LBJ or AD suffered an extended injury, the Purple and Gold could miss the playoffs next season.