The Los Angeles Lakers front office has been very honest in their free agency plans for next summer, as they have worked hard to clear cap space and plan to sign two max caliber free agents.
Among the free agents that could be possibilities are LeBron James, Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins and possibly Russell Westbrook, in addition to others.
At the top of the Lakers’ wish list has to be James, as the four-time MVP has reached the NBA Finals the last seven seasons and reports around the league suggest that James could be interested in signing with Los Angeles.
If the Lakers are able to convince James to make the move then he will likely be involved in the recruiting process to get another star to join him, and according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report Westbrook could be his first choice:
Whispers around the NBA suggest James would love to team up with the explosive guard.
Westbrook is currently eligible to sign the super-max extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder though, as general manager Sam Presti has let it be known that the deal is on the table whenever Westbrook wants to accept it.
While James possibly would want the reigning NBA MVP to come to the Lakers with him, Pincus is reporting that Westbrook will likely sign the extension to remain in OKC long term:
That said, when asked, various NBA executives believe Westbrook will eventually sign his deal with the Thunder.
While Westbrook may not be a possibility for the Lakers, his current Thunder teammate Paul George is as he has already said that he intends to sign with his hometown Lakers next summer, though that was before he was deal to Oklahoma City.
Even without Westbrook the Lakers could put together a championship caliber team next summer if James and George sign and play alongside promising young players like Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram. So the 2018 offseason should be a very interesting one for the entire Lakers franchise.