After a tough start to free agency where Paul George agreed to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Los Angeles rebounded by coming to terms with LeBron James, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Lance Stephenson, and JaVale McGee.
As the Lakers are filling out the remainder of the roster, there is great optimism moving forward. With James’ arrival to Los Angeles, it effectively ends the team’s rebuilding process.
Following five years of rebuilding through the draft, the Lakers finally established a foundation, led by Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma. Despite their youth, they showed a competitive spirit, highlighted by the team’s 14-win improvement in the first two years under head coach Luke Walton.
In position to pursue two max-level free agents, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka had a vision and accomplished it in just their second offseason together.
As a result, fans celebrated the team’s signing with James’ signature chalk toss outside of Staples Center, which SportsCenter shared:
Meanwhile, outside Staples Center … pic.twitter.com/3gd3R2Mc8i
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 2, 2018
Now that the Lakers have finally landed their superstar free agent, they may just be getting started. Kawhi Leonard is still requesting a trade from the San Antonio Spurs, but the two teams have made no progress in discussions.
For Johnson and Pelinka, the job is not complete until the Lakers win a championship and they have accepted the challenge to dethrone the Golden State Warriors, who have won three championships in four consecutive NBA Finals appearances.
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