This offseason, everyone was wondering what the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers were going to do. Would LeBron get his second superstar or would they get two? Would the Clippers get two superstars with their cap space? No one knew but there were names floated around like Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant all during the season and into the offseason as well. Everyone was trying to guess where the marquee guys would land. Well, if you have been keeping score, LeBron got a star to come play with him in Davis, trading away two starters in Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball along with Josh Hart in the process. As for the Clippers, their big move helped them while hurting. While the Lakers got Anthony Davis, they cleared cap room for a second star by getting rid of some young players on their team. All that was focused on getting the 2019 NBA Finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard, on their team. The three reported teams that were in the running were the Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers. And even though it seemed the Lakers were in the lead, the Clippers were able to bring in Leonard and along with trading draft picks along with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari for the services of Paul George. Now the Staples Center has two dynamic duos, but who's running the City of Angels?
If you listen to betting odds, the Clippers would be the favorites right now. They just acquired Kawhi Leonard and he was reportedly telling the Clippers if they got Paul George, he was coming there. With these two together along with Patrick Beverly, the Clippers have three of the best defenders in the NBA. Imagine how hard it's going to be to score on them with these three terrorizing the basketball. But the team is just not these three nor is it devoid of star talent outside of George and Leonard. The Clippers also brought in Mo Harkless via trade this offseason and boast the best bench-scoring duo in the NBA in Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell. Combine the experience along with depth up front and coaching and you can see why the Clippers have shot up the betting boards. It will be interesting to see how Kawhi and Paul George learn to play with each other, but with the sum of the parts they have along with their stars, the Clippers will not be ignored in the West this year and could quite possibly be representing the West in 2020's NBA Finals.
The excitement is around the Clippers, but the team everyone talks about mostly in Los Angeles and around the world is the Lakers. They have been trying to make their way back into the playoffs for a little while now with no success and ever with LeBron last season, they could not make it. So this offseason they got Anthony Davis but whiffed on Leonard. Many were throwing their jabs at them, but if you take a look at the players they signed under some duress, they actually did pretty well. On Saturday, they signed Quinn Cook, Rajon Rondo, DeMarcus Cousins, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Danny Green and JaVale McGee, building on a free agent class that brought them sharpshooter Troy Daniels and forward Jared Dudley. While it may seem they lost out on when missing on Kawhi, they gained depth at the center, shooting guard and point guard position. The depth was something many were concerned about even if they did not get Kawhi and it honestly adds things they needed. Now the Lakers can field a starting lineup that can shoot better and spread the floor and with guys like Anthony Davis and LeBron James, that could be deadly for teams trying to defend them. And the wildcard in all this is Boogie Cousins. If he is healthy, he will be a problem and the Lakers are that much better.
Between the Clippers and the Lakers, both teams will be fighting over the Staples Center for not only supremacy in Los Angeles but the Western Conference. The Clippers are the better defensive team and they have they do have the better bench, but the Lakers do have the advantage inside with the players they have there, especially if Boogie gets it going again. Depending on how each team develops, we could see a Western Conference Finals battle in the City of Angels. Get ready Los Angeles because it's showtime!