LeBron James has spent weeks making it clear that he wants the Los Angeles Lakers to add Kyrie Irving this offseason.
While the front office has yet to make that happen, they’ve still been pretty busy.
Between Juan Toscano-Anderson and Thomas Bryant, L.A. has added a decent amount of young firepower to the roster.
That said, one particular addition caught James’ eye recently.
Last week the Lakers signed Scotty Pippen Jr. to a 2-way contract following a summer league showing that saw him average 11.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 2.3 steals per game.
James reacted to the move on social media immediately:
The kid has a bright future!! 💜💛 https://t.co/YobiiXICsH
— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 21, 2022
Pippen was a two-time All-SEC First Teamer during his collegiate stint with Vanderbilt, so the potential is definitely there. Time will tell how much of an impact he will ultimately be able to make in 2022-23, though.
Big picture, according to ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers are on the verge of making a big move involving Russell Westbrook.
And chances are, whatever that trade ends up being will have far more massive ramifications for the Lakers’ looming campaign than anything that happens involving Pippen.
Klay doesn’t miss. https://t.co/x5Znq9JhfS
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 27, 2022
That said – young talent matters. If L.A. had more of it, dumping Westbrook and adding established veterans around James and Anthony Davis wouldn’t be as difficult as it has been in recent months.
The 2022-23 season will be a very telling one for the Lakers.
Either the team will regain some semblance of dignity and return to its perch atop the NBA, or it will signal once and for all that the LeBron James Era for the purple and gold has come to a conclusion.