With the 2018-19 NBA season coming to a close, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are shifting their focus to the 2019 NBA Draft and free agency now.
While the Lakers had hoped to play in late April and May, injuries and Anthony Davis trade rumors completely derailed Year 1 with James and the young core.
Along with an unexpected lottery pick, the Lakers will have $38 million in cap space in hopes of signing or trading for a second All-Star player alongside James.
Although the latest reports have these All-Star players re-signing or signing elsewhere, James provided a message to them ahead of July 1 in an exclusive interview with Allie Clifton of Spectrum SportsNet:
“I’m looking forward to seeing who jumps in the car with me and want to take this ride to the top. I know what I bring to the game. I know my commitment to the game. I’ve never cheated the game. Throughout my career, it’s always given back to me. I’m not saying I’m guaranteeing a championship. I’m guaranteeing my body. I’m guaranteeing my mind will be and always be in a championship mindset until I’m done.”
Since president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka took over, they have envisioned two All-Star players over a two-year free agency window.
While the narrative has changed throughout the season, the reality is the Lakers have an opportunity to significantly improve their roster. With a healthy James and properly constructing a roster around him, the Lakers should be able to end their playoff drought.
As James remains confident about the Lakers adding a second All-Star player, it will be interesting to see who ultimately joins him in Los Angeles.