After yet another disappointing season, the Los Angeles Lakers will once again look to improve this summer as they attempt to maximize LeBron James’ tenure with the team. The four-time MVP, who missed the playoffs for the first time since 2005, still has three years left in his contract.
The Lakers will be looking to add one more superstar to pair with James, and they have enough cap space to make that happen. But according to Laker legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los Angeles should also look for a defensive-minded big man during the offseason.
The Lakers have never won a championship without a dominant center in their line-up. The franchise’s 17 titles were won thanks in large part to guys like George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, and Pau Gasol. Even Magic Johnson, who’s obviously a point guard, played center for the Lakers during their championship run back in 1980.
Abdul-Jabbar led the team to five NBA titles during the 1980s, so it makes sense for him to give such a suggestion.
There are only a few notable bigs that will head into free agency this July, one of them is Golden State Warriors star DeMarcus Cousins, who has been impressive since his return from Achilles injury. The former All-Star is averaging 16.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game this season.
Another name that could pop-up in the Lakers’ radar is veteran center DeAndre Jordan. Although he now looks like a shell of his old self, he’s still averaging a double-double this season with 10.9 points and 11.4 rebounds to go along with 1.1 blocks per contest.
It is unclear if the Lakers will follow Kareem’s advice, but as the old adage says, “Defense wins championships.”
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