How will Lakers deal with Warriors? Magic Johnson weighs in


The Los Angeles Lakers won their 17th NBA title Monday night, and absolutely will be a championship contender again next season.

But they are going to have to outduel the Warriors, who were not standing in their way this year.

How will LeBron James and his teammates deal with a reloaded Golden State squad in 2020-21?

"I'm a fan of Steph (Curry) and Klay (Thompson). I hope that they come back and they're healthy," NBA legend Magic Johnson said Monday on ESPN's "First Take." "And I love Draymond Green -- the former (Michigan State) Spartan. I'm always gonna cheer for Draymond.

"But at the end of the day, the Lakers still will be the team to beat. If Golden State is healthy -- and I'm sure they're gonna make a good move, I don't know if they will keep that second pick or not -- they will be the second team."

Magic also mentioned the Denver Nuggets and the LA Clippers as the other two "powerhouse" teams in the Western Conference, but obviously believes his beloved Lakers are the favorites.

"With the experience the Lakers got -- all those guys will come back and be better next season," he added.

Download and subscribe to the Runnin' Plays Podcast

It's going to be fascinating to see how the league's top teams improve their rosters this offseason.


The Warriors have the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, a $17.2 traded player exception and the $6 million-ish taxpayer mid-level exception at their disposal.

And the franchise knows it needs to bring in some major contributors to be in position to contend for the title.

RELATED: Where Warriors land in ESPN's early 2021 NBA power rankings

"I think we need to be more athletic, for sure," Steve Kerr told The Athletic's Tim Kawakami last week. "We're obviously very skilled. But we don't have an overly athletic team.

"We've lost a lot of bounce and a lot of pop on the wings -- even at the center position. (So) right now, we're not big enough or athletic enough to get where we want to be. But we all know that.

"We have the draft and we have free agency to address all that stuff. And potential trades. I think (general manager) Bob (Myers) would be the first to tell you this roster is far from being finished."

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram