#5: Brooklyn Nets
The first team that could give the Lakers some trouble in the 2020-2021 season is the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets made big moves in last year’s free agency, signing both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. Despite Irving missing most of the season and Durant being sidelined for the entire year, the Nets were still good enough to qualify as the 7th seed.
This gives the Net’s front office a lot of flexibility. They could either stick with the players already on their roster and remain as one of the deepest teams in the league. Another option and one that should be much scarier in the eyes of the fans of the Lakers is they could take the draft capital and young talent and package them together to obtain another superstar level player.
It appears that the second option is a real possibility. It has been reported the Houston Rocket’s superstar James Harden had turned down a 50 million dollar extension from the Rockets and told the team he would like to be traded to the Nets.
While it seems the Rockets, for now, are holding firm and will not trade Harden to the Nets unless they get Kyrie Irving in return. Even the possibility of the Nets making a trade for Harden or a player of his caliber.
If the Nets are able to make the trade for Harden without giving up Irving, it is likely that they will be the title favorites and it makes sense as to why. With that much offensive talent and shooting between two players, it would make the Nets almost impossible to guard. Along with this, DeAndre Jordan would still be on the roster to pull down any rebounds and be an interior force on the defensive end.
With or without Harden, a team of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and loads of young talent are a team that the Lakers should be keeping their eye on. They could even be the team coming out of the East to play for a championship.