Once the LeBron James Lakers add the necessary pieces, the goal will be to compete with the Golden State Warriors for the Western Conference title. That may involve taking a page out of the Dubs' book.
One of the mythical parts of the Warriors dynasty is the team's "Death Lineup," which even predates Kevin Durant. It basically puts all of the team's best players on the court at once, with Draymond Green holding down the center position, creating an offensive lineup that no one can contend with.
With LeBron James on the roster, the Lakers now think they can roll out a similar squad, per one unnamed team executive.
The executive says that LeBron James will play center in the Lakers' version of the "Death Lineup."
LeBron will be in the middle of a lineup featuring Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, and Kyle Kuzma. From Bleacher Report:
"We may not see this on day one, but the coaching staff is eager to see our version of the [Warriors'] Death Lineup with Lonzo [Ball], Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, [Kyle] Kuzma and LeBron," a second Lakers executive said.
Not everyone is sold, however. A rival executive doesn't think LeBron can man that spot with the same effectiveness as Draymond, because so much of the offensive load is expected to be placed on his shoulders.
"I don't think the Lakers make the playoffs," said a Western Conference rival executive who questioned the experience of their talent outside James.
"James has been steadily coasting on defense in recent years. Now he's going to close games as the Lakers' 5?" another skeptical executive asked. "Draymond [Green] is why that works for the Warriors."
Golden State has thrived with Green in the middle because he is such a versatile and motivated defender—and isn't tasked with carrying the team offensively.
It remains to be seen how much the Lakers will rely on the 33-year-old James on offense and if he'll also have the energy to anchor the defense.
I'm definitely interested to see what a LeBron-centered "Death Lineup" looks like. However, there's little chance it rivals what the Warriors can throw out there. Lonzo is no Steph Curry, Josh Hart is no Klay Thompson, and neither Brandon Ingram nor Kyle Kuzma is anywhere near Kevin Durant. Still, it should be a fun and worthy experiment.