The Los Angeles Lakers franchise is the most prestigious in the entire NBA. While Boston sports fans may disagree, there is no franchise with the history that the Lakers have had. Many of the best players to ever play the sport have laced it up in the purple and gold at some point.
Plenty of players in the NBA grew up Lakers fans as they watched Kobe Bryant dominate his way to five championships. Perhaps the most notable Lakers fan turned pro is Jayson Tatum, who has blossomed as an elite player in Boston.
Tatum has not been shy about his Lakers fandom and even donned a Kobe Bryant jersey for a shoot as part of the NBA’s 75th anniversary last season. Many fans have dreamed of Tatum coming to Los Angeles once his current stint in Boston is over to be the next face of the franchise.
Tatum added to those dreams on Tuesday with two simple emojis. Los Angeles retired Pau Gasol’s number on Tuesday night, prompting a celebration of what he did for the team as well as his relationship with Kobe Bryant. That is where Tatum’s tweet came in.
It really doesn’t seem to be anything other than Tatum appreciating the relationship that Bryant and Gasol had on the Lakers, which was a prime time in Tatum’s life growing up as a fan. However, that didn’t stop Lakers fans from freaking out, as the replies and quote tweets are littered with fans calling Tatum a future Laker.
When could Jayton Tatum theoretically join the Los Angeles Lakers?
We should absolutely not rule out the possibility of Jayson Tatum coming to the purple and gold at one point in time. Fandom is a very strong thing and we see player movement at an incredible rate in the NBA. Tatum switching coasts to play for his favorite team growing up is a very real possibility.
Tatum is under contract for three more seasons with the Boston Celtics. However, he has a player option that he will likely utilize after the 2024-25 season, giving him two more guaranteed seasons in Boston after the 2022-23 season.
At that point, the Lakers would have the means to theoretically pursue Tatum. LeBron James will be off the books (likely leaving to go play with Bronny James). Anthony Davis might be signed to a new deal as he has a player option after the 2023-24 season. But he also could be gone, giving the Lakers a clean slate to bring Tatum in.
While he would have been in the league for nearly a decade, Tatum would still be in his prime at this point in time. If he were to opt out after the 2024-25 season he would join Los Angeles at 27 years old. That is one year older than Anthony Davis was when he joined the Lakers via trade.
Heck, Tatum probably is the best bet for the Lakers’ future title hopes. Los Angeles has been successful because of its ability to bring in stars and Tatum is the leading face of the next wave of stars.
Perhaps this has been the long-term vision for the franchise all along and Tatum’s tweets only make it seem more plausible.