The Los Angeles Lakers are said to be desperate to find a new Kobe Bryant in their roster with D'Angelo Russell, Brandom Ingram and Jordan Clarkson failing to meet expectations - the same ones set and met by Kristaps Porzingis in the New York Knicks and Karl-Anthony Towns in the Minnesota Timberwolves. The lack of confidence and aggressiveness in the lineup, which former Golden State Warriors coach Luke Walton described as "weak," now makes it imperative for the front office to sign a leader who can pick up the pace and set a model for the team. Will a Gordon Hayward contract be the answer to these problems?
The Utah Jazz star, who once again failed to receive an NBA All-Star recognition, has been one of the most celebrated players in the league. While he receives accolades from the likes of Paul George, he has yet to be fully embraced by the fans as a true leader. Will his chance be in the form of a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers?
Rumors are rife that the Los Angeles Lakers might be looking to sign a Gordon Hayward contract this free agency. Fans believe that this might be Luke Walton's way of bringing in a strong and effective leader in a young but otherwise talented lineup. While no official comment has been given by the parties tagged in this NBA rumor, many feel that this could be ideal for all concerned.
"You know I think every player has different situations for reasons why they leave or stay," said Gordon Hayward in relation to players' decisions to stay or leave their NBA teams. "I think it's definitely cool when guys play their whole career in one city. I grew up watching the Pacers, and Reggie Miller stayed there his whole career. He was a guy that everybody looked up to, so I think it's definitely cool. But, like I said, every situation is different, every player has different things going on, so you can't blame players one way or the other for staying or changing."
Apart from Gordon Hayward, other young stars linked to the Los Angeles Lakers are DeMarcus Cousins of the New Orleans Pelicans, Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls and Paul George of the Indiana Pacers. It remains to be seen if D'Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson will welcome the Utah Jazz star as their new leader or if the NBA draft would eventually give them their next Kobe Bryant.