Magic Johnson may no longer be president of basketball operations, but he’s still extremely tied to the Los Angeles Lakers organization.
The former five-time NBA champion reportedly played a role in the Lakers’ free agency pitch to big names such as Kawhi Leonard. Although the Lakers ultimately struck out on Leonard — the Finals MVP joined the crosstown Los Angeles Clippers instead — Magic still believes that the Lakers’ possible fourth-quarter lineup of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma, Avery Bradley and Danny Green are “almost unbeatable.”
Johnson felt so strongly about this that he felt the need to tweet about it.
Laker Nation, I’m dreaming about the 4th quarter Lakers team with LeBron, AD, Danny Green, Avery Bradley, and Kyle Kuzma. That’s almost unbeatable!
While it’s unclear at this time who the Lakers will play in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter — it’s safe to assume LeBron, Davis, Kuzma and likely Green will be in there — the Purple and Gold might not even have the best fourth-quarter lineup in Los Angeles.
Obviously, the Clippers have two of the best two-way players in the NBA — Leonard is widely regarded as the NBA’s best perimeter defender and Paul George just finished as a runner-up in Defensive Player of the Year voting — and they have a rising power forward in Montrezl Harrell, a three-time Sixth Man of the Year in Lou Williams and one of the best defensive guards in the league in Patrick Beverley.
What isn’t so certain is who the Lakers will plug in as the fifth guy — whether that’s Bradley, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope or someone else remains to be seen — but there are clear weaknesses with that “fifth guy,” as Bradley isn’t the player he was earlier in his career — he’s appeared in just 109 of a possible 164 games over the past two years — and Caldwell-Pope is a career .412 from the field and .345 from beyond the arc.
It’s nice that Johnson has an affinity for the current Lakers’ roster — the team he put together last season can’t be considered “good” by any stretch — but it’s way too early to be declaring the Lakers’ fourth-quarter lineup as “almost unbeatable,” especially considering they may not even have the best fourth-quarter lineup in their own city.
Courtesy: CBS Sports