The Los Angeles Lakers have been saving up their cap space for the summer of 2018, when they hope to chase superstars like LeBron James in free agency. With President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson at the helm and former-agent-turned General Manager Rob Pelinka in the fold, confidence is high that the Lakers will be successful in wooing a top free agent.
Los Angeles is all-in on this plan, as evidenced by their trade just before the NBA Draft that shipped talented young guard D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Brook Lopez, who has an expiring contract, and the 27th pick.
It was a controversial deal, but it helped the team inch closer to having enough cap space for two max free agents next summer by jettisoning Mozgov’s contract. While a tweet may not mean a whole lot, James does appear to be friendly with Johnson:
Happy birthday @MagicJohnson!! One of the few that's always showed love from day 1 to me! Thank you. Enjoy your day!!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 14, 2017
Johnson responded in kind:
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) August 14, 2017
Of course, simple Birthday wishes are not necessarily a sign that James is considering signing with the Lakers next summer, but that won’t stop people from speculating. It was only a few days ago that James referred to Los Angeles as “home” in a tweet, and given all of the drama currently surrounding the Cleveland Cavaliers, it wouldn’t be shocking to discover that he wants out.
Still, given the strength of the Western Conference, it won’t be easy to convince James to sign on with the Lakers, even if youngsters like Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram have breakout years. It will likely take another star joining him, and that’s why the Lakers are expected to do everything they can to clear enough space for two max players.