The NBA is changing up how All-Star Teams will be selected this year. Instead of the usual East versus West match-up, the two top vote-getters from each conference will be named Team Captains. These Team Captains will then be able to select players on their team, regardless of conference.
Because of that new wrinkle, the possibilities are now limitless! That’s why at SLAM PH, we decided to make the All-Star Teams as crazy as possible. No one knows whats going to happen when the teams are announced, so here are some fun options to think about. Who knows, we might actually see some of these teams this year.
For the past few off seasons, it seems like the Lakers only succeeded in making superstars wear the purple and gold on edited photos uploaded somewhere on the internet. But with the way Magic Johnson is handling things for Tinseltown, it certainly looks like the front office will aggressively chase multiple superstars once this season is over.
This will be a huge breakthrough for the most important NBA team in LA (Sorry, Clippers). Years of building a strong but imaginary Lakers team through Photoshop might end in the 2018 Free Agency.
But why wait for the offseason to arrive? Magic should use the 2018 All-Star Weekend to start pitching his team to all the visiting players. Moreover, he can use the All-Star Game to 2018 FA’s best NBA players. It’s a chance to play two hypothetical Laker teams that will give all they have for a chance to captivate Magic Johnson’s imagination.
With that, I present to you the biggest basketball audition in Hollywood. Welcome to PURPLE VS GOLD!
Here are the starting lineups:
PURPLE EAST: Lob Passes and Banana Boats
LeBron James (Captain)
There’s no doubt that he’s still the best basketball player in the world today. And at 33, he is still putting up insane numbers (27-8-9) which can lead to his fifth MVP. He should be 1a on Magic’s list.
Why the Lakers should recruit him: He’s the best player in the world. It also looks like the Lakers could build the team around him until he’s 45.
The Lakers missed a chance to see the Point God in purple and gold, no thanks to David Stern’s infamous veto. When offseason arrives, they have the chance to rekindle old flame. No Stern. No veto. Just a piece of paper with CP3’s signature on it.
Why the Lakers should recruit him: He’s the Point God. He still posts elite player numbers. He can be Lonzo’s mentor. HE’S THE FREAKING POINT GOD.
He’s one of the most dominant players in the paint. He’s the league’s second leading rebounder (14.9). Moreover, it will be fantastic to see an alley-oop showdown between CP3/DeAndre and Wade/Bron every game. #LALobCity
Why the Lakers should recruit him: He’s one of the best big men in the NBA. He can also catch any ball in mid-air, from CP3’s lobs to Lonzo’s airballs.
He may just be a remnant of his old self, but Dwyane Wade can still do a lot of things on the court. And if Magic wants LeBron to come over to Hollywood, then he might as well include his best buddy on the fold.
Why the Lakers should recruit him: He’s a future HoF, potentially a great sixth man, and probably the Lakers’ best chance to lure The King.
If there’s any chance that Olympic Melo can finally show up in a star-studded LA team, then Magic should gamble on him. Plus, he’s part of the banana boat crew. When it comes to swooning The King out of The Land, no stone should be left unturned, right?
Why the Lakers should recruit him: Well, how serious is Magic in recruiting LeBron?
GOLDEN WEST: Team 31 and below
Paul George (Captain)
If LeBron is 1a, then PG13 is 1b. With George, the Lakers can get a superstar in his best years. If Magic can get one or both of them, LA will end up being winners in the free agency.
Why the Lakers should recruit him: Aside from being a superstar in his prime, he’s the son of Cali. And in basketball, there might be no greater backstory than a hometown hero playing for his land (I’m looking at you, LeBron).
Should Magic miss his swings on LeBron and/or PG13, then he should probably do everything to recruit DMC. In spite of his bad rep, he’s a stretch 5 who’s perfect for the modern NBA.
Why the Lakers should recruit him: He’s arguably the best shooting big man in the 2018 FA. More importantly, he can do whatever Brook Lopez does, but better.
Wouldn’t it be poetic if IT can exact revenge on Danny Ainge at a Boston-LA finals showdown?
Why the Lakers should recruit him: He has a great underdog story that’s perfect for the Hollywood. He’s also an elite point guard who can carry a ton of offensive load for his team. Great option for a second/third star.
Sweet Lou has caught fire. He leads the Clippers in scoring (23.3). He deserves a second run at the Lakers.
Why the Lakers should recruit him: They had him once. Why not get him again?
Aside from his awesome play as of late, Michael Beasley might be LA’s answer to turn the attention away from Lonzo’s dad. While we’re at it, I hope Beas can do a cameo in The Big Bang Theory where he’ll argue with Dr. Sheldon Cooper about science, all while wearing three wristwatches at the same time.
Why the Lakers should recruit him: He’s New York’s MVP. ‘Nuff said.
Kevin Durant (looks like a lock for GSW)
Clint Capela (RFA; also caught knocking at the Clippers’ locker room door)
Aaron Gordon (RFA; would probably be Magic’s best player)
J.J. Redick (doubts that dinosaurs once existed)
Tyreke Evans (still my MIP, though)
Photos from SLAM Online and Getty Images
READ: SLAM PH All-Star Picks