To officially begin free agency, the Los Angeles Lakers had to quickly adjust their plans as Paul George did not meet with them and re-signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Over the next 12 hours, there were no updates regarding LeBron James and the Lakers as his representatives met with the Philadelphia 76ers. In a surprising move, the 33-year-old, who has been known to take his time in free agency, announced he was signing with the storied franchise.
Following James’ arrival, the Lakers also re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope while signing Lance Stephenson and JaVale McGee. While they still have numerous options such as a Kawhi Leonard trade, the next step may be re-signing Julius Randle.
According to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, Randle has not received an offer yet, but is hopeful of re-signing as both sides will meet:
Sources: Lakers restricted free agent Julius Randle hasn’t yet received an offer from L.A., but has excitement for arrival of LeBron James. Randle’s representatives and the Lakers are expected to speak Monday, hopeful of potential offer to retain him.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 2, 2018
Although Randle had a career season and there were concerns of potentially losing him, the market has dried up significantly in his restricted free agency. As a result, it appears the question is if the Lakers will sign him to a long-term deal or attempt to preserve cap space for 2019 free agency.
For president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka, they took a major step in their vision in just their second offseason together. With James signing a four-year contract, he has given them time to build a perennial championship contender.
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