The Lakers really wanted Russell Westbrook and went out and got him. A few years before that, they did the same with Anthony Davis.
The Clippers did the same with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. So did the Nets with James Harden.
While the Lakers won a title in the 2020 Disney bubble, things haven’t gone well since. Meanwhile, Leonard and George have been held back by injuries and Harden was traded to the 76ers.
So going hard after superstars, clearly, doesn’t always result in smashing success. And now, as Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN wrote, some team executives are beginning to realize this.
“Several top league executives assert that devising a strategy around chasing big-name stars doesn’t hold the same appeal it once did,” Arnovitz wrote.
One senior league executive indicated that it all comes down to fit.
“Assembling a superteam is something very, very few organizations can do,” the exec told Arnovitz. “And we’re seeing that even fewer can actually pull it off because superstars aren’t enough — it has to be the right superstars in the right culture.
“What this current era of NBA basketball is showing us is that going all-in — whether it’s with cap space or all of your loot — to go acquire two or three of the top talented players in the league and having either underperforming infrastructure or a complete lack of roster depth, you’re doing nothing favorable for your organization.”
A quick look at history also reveals that homegrown talent often gets the job done.
“History shows that a superteam has a better chance to succeed with an organizational anchor,” RealGM wrote. “Outside of the 19-20 Lakers, no team comprising a core without a homegrown star as one of its two best players has won a title in more than 40 years.”
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