During the 2017 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros, David Ortiz asked president of basketball Magic Johnson if and how the Los Angeles Lakers were going to sign LeBron James.
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As James ultimately signed a four-year, $154 million deal in free agency, Johnson and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka took a major step forward in their vision for the franchise.
With the Dodgers returning to the World Series for a matchup with the Boston Red Sox, the Lakers find themselves in a similar situation as well.
Armed with $38 million in salary cap space after buying out Luol Deng, Johnson expressed confidence in signing another All-Star player come 2019 NBA free agency, via FOX Sports:
“Because you ran that earlier with LeBron, I’m going to get another superstar next year!”
As Johnson and Pelinka outlined a two-year window to make a splash in free agency, they are expected to be players for the likes of Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. However, unlike this past offseason, there are numerous teams that will also have cap space.
While the Lakers have been linked to all of these players, there is a level of uncertainty about one of them actually signing. Durant and Thompson are pursuing a three-peat with the Golden State Warriors, Leonard is finding early success with the Toronto Raptors and Butler did not list the Lakers as a potential trade destination.
If the Lakers fall short of signing another All-Star player, Kemba Walker and Khris Middleton are some potential names they could pursue.