The Los Angeles Lakers front office regime, led by Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka, clearly have a plan in place to return the team to prominence.
The main focus of the Lakers lies in the free agency class of 2018. Superstars like LeBron James, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook are expected to be available that summer and the Lakers plan on having enough money to offer two maximum contracts.
This much has been made clear by the front office as Pelinka, the team’s general manager, has said the Lakers will be sacred about their cap space for that summer according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne:
Rob Pelinka says the Lakers will be "sacred" about their cap space for next summer. In other words, look for lots of 1+1 deals
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) June 23, 2017
The Lakers are not expected to be major players in free agency this summer so, as Shelburne notes, a one year contract with a team option for 2018 will be the most likely route for most deals they give out this offseason.
Garnering up the necessary cap room has already begun for the Lakers. The deal that sent D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets saved the team a lot of cap space for 2018 and they may not be done.
Magic has noted that another deal could come for the team and they will undoubtedly be looking to shed Luol Deng’s massive contract. The Lakers were even reportedly offering an unprotected first-round pick in order to shed the contract.
One thing that is for sure is that the Lakers are all on one page and know exactly what they are working towards. Whether or not they can ultimately bring in players like James and George remains to be seen, but they are putting themselves in prime position to be major players.