Over the past few years, the myth that superstars will flock to the Los Angeles Lakers just because they’re the Los Angeles Lakers has been completely and totally debunked.
Be it because players’ egos don’t allow them to play second-fiddle to Kobe Bryant, or because Jim Buss and Co. are rarely in a stable enough financial position to hand out big money deals – bringing in legit players hasn’t been as easy as it theoretically should be for the Lakers. Anyone looking for proof can just think back to what happened with the Dwight Howard mess.
L.A. had a deal ready to go for the Orlando Magic’s much-maligned big man, but he didn’t want to come. And if Howard -- the most desperate-for-attention star in basketball today -- didn’t want to come to Hollywood, who will?
Seeing as it’s not a given that players even want to play for the Lakers anymore, when scouting potential acquisitions and/or free agent pickups, it’s important to first note whether or not those guys would be okay with coming to Tinseltown. Case in point: Steve Nash clearly has no interest in coming here, so we can rule him out. Kevin Garnett, however, would probably be open to the idea.
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As great as K.G. would be for his grit and toughness, the Lakers desperately need to upgrade at point guard. Ramon Sessions is a solid backup but, as he proved during this latest playoff run, he’s not a Wartime Consigliere. Mitch Kupchak had a deal for Chris Paul all lined last summer because he knows how important the position is; however, we all know how that debacle ended.
So, who could the team bring in to fill its massive void at the one? Deron Williams is a guy whose name has frequently been mentioned as a potential Laker target. But would he want to come to Los Angeles?
"I know they don't have any money to just go out and sign me," said Williams, who has a player option for $17.8 million next season with New Jersey. "It'll have to be some kind of deal."
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"I used to hate them. They pushed us out of the playoffs three years in a row," Williams said of the Lakers, referring to when they beat Williams' Utah Jazz each postseason from 2008 through 2010. "We'll see."
And how would Williams feel about playing alongside Kobe? In another interview with the Times, he talked about getting the chance to do so on Team USA.
"It's good to have to be on his team for once and not have to guard him and keep him from scoring 50 on you," Williams said. "He's a very intense guy. He's very passionate about the game. He's a winner. It's fun to see his work ethic up close and personal."
Going by his responses, clearly Williams would have no problem getting along with the Lakers’ current No. 1 option.
It’s debatable whether or not being adorned in purple and gold is Williams’ first choice, but he’s obviously not opposed to the idea.
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