Kemba Walker to LA, is that something that will get LeBron, AD and the Lakers back to the NBA Finals? Most importantly will it give them a better chance of hoisting their second Larry O’Brien trophy in three years?
This week rumors have been swirling around that the newly acquired Oklahoma City Thunder guard, Walker, could be on the move to this year’s 7th seed out of the West, the Los Angeles Lakers. The deal would reportedly include the 2020 NBA champions giving up Kyle Kuzma and a 1st round pick for Walker’s services.
On paper this could be a good deal. Perhaps even a steal for LA. However, there’s one enormous elephant in the room. Will Walker be able to stay healthy enough for the Lakers to make a title run? Because let’s be real, any team that LeBron is on (let alone the Lakers) is expected to be competing for championships every season.
The obvious answer to that question is we don’t know, which presents a problem for a franchise with such high expectations. It’s not even just the expectations either. The team’s best player will be 37-years-old this season and not to mention they will be playing with a chip on their shoulder already after surprisingly getting bounced in the first round of this year’s playoffs by the Phoenix Suns.
As we all know injuries played a role in what happened to the Lakers this season. Anthony Davis went down with Achilles/calf issues, and LeBron went down with a high ankle sprain. That resulted in LA going from the 4th seed in the West to the 7th, and having to compete in the play-in tournament to solidify their spot in the postseason.
With all of that being said, if the team’s two leaders go down again this upcoming season (knock on wood for the Lakers fans out there), wouldn’t their potential third star need to have a reputation of being physically durable?
If so, Walker wouldn’t be it. He was a part of the underachieving Boston Celtics this year, who finished with a 36-36 record and the 7th seed.
During this regular season he only played 43 out of 72 games due to injuries. He’s also only played a full 82-game regular season twice in his 8-year career.
Lastly, the value of this deal would greatly depend on what Dennis Schröder decides to do. Reports say he wants very lucrative contract this year. If that’s true, the Lakers likely won’t be able to pay him that because they have other contracts to worry about as well. Therefore, if he doesn’t come back Walker would be a great help, but it would be rolling the dice due to what both bring to the table.
Schröder is a great perimeter defender, but streaky offensively. Walker is explosive offensively (and quite streaky), but doesn’t play much defense.
So, if this deal goes down, will this be a good move? More like risky at best.
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