Los Angeles Lakers: Tier 1 free agents to target

(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

1. Kawhi Leonard

Wanting to sign Kawhi Leonard seems a little obvious, right? He’s the reigning Finals MVP, 2x DPOY, a perennial All-NBA/All-Defense candidate, and one of, if not the best, two-way player in the league.

Even after a season with the Toronto Raptors, which ended in an NBA title and Kawhi being crowned Finals MVP, NBA insiders still have no clue as to Kawhi’s plans for free agency.

To be fair, the chances of the Lakers landing Kawhi Leonard are extremely low, as it’s unlikely that he leaves a Toronto Raptors team in which he was the number one option on a championship team, to a team where he’ll fluctuate between second and third banana.

However, being on a team helmed by LeBron James and Anthony Davis may prove to beneficial for Leonard, whose season with the Raptors was defined by ‘load management’. What better way to take the pressure off than two top-5 players to shoulder the load?

So how exactly does Kawhi fit into a LeBron James/Anthony Davis core? He’s an exceptional defender, and being able to share the offensive load will allow him to focus his efforts on that side of the ball.

In addition, his skill as an isolation player will also be a great asset, since it will allow James and Davis to provide off-ball assistance while Leonard picks apart defenses with his ever-growing arsenal of moves.

Leonard has said in the past that he only cares about winning, and while his Raptors team did just win the NBA title, they’re not set-up for future success as their most important pieces in the team’s title run such as Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol, and Serge Ibaka are entering their age 34, 35, and 30 seasons. They do have a rising star in Pascal Siakim, who just won the Most Improved Player award, but to be fair, he doesn’t hold a candle to an established superstar in Anthony Davis.

If Kawhi wants a team capable of competing for championships both now and in the future, he won’t find a team better suited to do so than the team with two top-5 players in the Los Angeles Lakers.

With Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, and LeBron James, they would easily become the most dominant one-two punch in the league, since their skillsets perfectly complement each other.

*All stats acquired from NBA.com/Cleaningtheglass.com