It’s an NBA Twitter dream come true, tailor-made for meme-makers and NBA comedians to go in on for an eternity.
But as bizarre as it seems to team James up with a former nemesis, a big man whose basketball IQ gets questioned daily and a point guard who can’t shoot in a time when every position needs to be able to shoot, this is all part of the Lakers’ grand plan.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Ramona Shelburne, bringing in Stephenson, McGee and Rondo is the beginning of a strategy that Lakers president Magic Johnson outlined to James when the two reportedly met at the four-time NBA MVP’s home before he decided he wanted to become a Laker.
According to multiple sources within the Lakers and close to James, this is the rollout of a plan Johnson outlined for James the night of June 30 at James’ home. The subsequent deals, which sources say James has consulted on but have been executed at Johnson and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka’s direction, follow this vision.
The rationale behind this plan of Johnson’s, according to the ESPN reporters, seems to be alleviating ball-handling and playmaking duties from James’ plate and ensuring he has a core of strong defenders along with him and then look for shooting elsewhere.
“I know some people are rolling their eyes, but I like what the Lakers have done,” a Western Conference executive told ESPN. “You can find shooters. They’ve taken some in the last few drafts. Playmakers matter and are harder to find.”
It’s an interesting idea of Johnson’s, but whether it’ll actually work is another story.
Still, just because Los Angeles have made the big move to acquire James and made this trio of head-scratchers afterwards doesn’t mean its off-season business is over. With disgruntled San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard still out there and having reportedly asked to be traded to the Lakers, it’s tough to just jump to the conclusion L.A. has outright flubbed its big acquisition of James.
For now, that is.