The Los Angeles Lakers will have plenty of cap space at their disposal this summer and LeBron James is expected to be one of their main free agent targets. They could have enough financial power to pursue a pair of max-level free agents, with Paul George being another option, though that would likely require the team to allow restricted free agent Julius Randle to leave.
Based on Randle’s recent play, that could be problematic. He has put together the best basketball of his career by far and become a key cog on a Lakers team that is suddenly fun again.
Of course, it’s always possible that the Lakers sign just one star free agent, which would leave them with the room needed to keep Randle. He spoke to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk about the possibility of playing alongside James:
“It would definitely be interesting because we are building something. We really see our young core developing, so it would definitely be something interesting,” Randle said recently of playing with James only after insisting he has his mind focused on finishing the season strong for his team. “I played with [Kobe Bryant]. … What you learn from Bean as far as mentality and just the little things, his work ethic, I would love to play with Bron and learn the same things.
“[Learning and soaking in] what makes him so great, what does he do that makes him so great and how does he make everybody else so great. He has made a living off of making teammates better. So you have a guy like that, it makes a lot of things easier, I would say.”
As Randle notes, the Lakers have been building around a young core, so adding a 33-year-old James could be a bit of a strange fit. Still, the potential of adding James’ maturity to the young legs of Los Angeles has to hold some appeal.
It’s unlikely, but should the Lakers find a way to land James while still retaining Randle, they could form quite a devastating duo, one that would put the Lakers back in the title hunt.
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