The Los Angeles Lakers have had an eventful summer as they have taken several steps toward rebuilding their once-great franchise. They managed to land Lonzo Ball in the draft, and believe him to be a transformative player for their team. They also traded former second overall pick D’Angelo Russell and center Timofey Mozgov in a deal that freed up cap space and will allow them to chase superstars next summer in free agency.
With Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka now at the helm, it feels as though the winds have changed and the Lakers have momentum on their side once again. They intend to be a major player in next year’s free agency and hope to land a pair of the most talented players available.
With things looking up, the Lakers are considered to be the franchise most likely to form a new super team by ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh:
LeBron James and Paul George in purple and gold? Don’t sleep on this one. (And if not James, maybe Russell Westbrook writes his “I’m coming home” ode to L.A.)
The Lakers could have as much as $70 million in cap space next summer, which would be good enough to fit two max-level stars to join Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram. Getting to that $70 million will take some maneuvering, but all indications from LakerLand point to that direction. The team refused to go more than one year on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s contract, and they already moved Timofey Mozgov’s contract for Brook Lopez’s expiring deal.
Haberstroh goes on to note that it’s going to take a few more moves in order to for the Lakers to obtain the kind of cap space necessary for two max deals and that they may have to part ways with players like Julius Randle, Luol Deng, and Jordan Clarkson. Still, there is a path to free up that space when the time comes, and that’s the important part.
If the Lakers are able to land a pair of stars like James and George, it would instantly thrust them back into the upper-echelon of the NBA, something Los Angeles fans have been hoping to see for some time now.