NBA Free Agency Rumors: Lakers Have ‘Inside Track’ To Sign LeBron James, But Not With Paul George Or Kawhi Leonard Trade
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

While the Los Angeles Lakers have fancied themselves as an option for the league’s top players in free agency over recent years, the feeling for the 2018 class is much more optimistic. That’s despite longtime forgone conclusion Paul George appearing likely to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Whether the Lakers miss out on George will come to light in the near future, and though there may be some disappointment, it could be erased by LeBron James. As expected, he declined a $35.6 million player option for the 2018-19 season.

On the surface, that benefitted the Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers. Had James opted in, it may have signaled his intention to facilitate a trade; much like Chris Paul did between the Clippers and Houston Rockets last year.

Now, the Lakers are able to pursue James in effort to sign him outright, while the Cavs can still offer the most lucrative contract, even if their roster might not be as appealing when compared to other teams.

With the start of free agency a few hours away, the Lakers might be pulling ahead in the James sweepstakes, explained ESPN’s Brian Windhorst during an appearance on SportsCenter:

“Believe it or not, we are really in a crazy moment in NBA history, where where LeBron James is moving towards become a Los Angeles Laker. The Lakers, in my mind and my sources tell me, have the inside track here. The conversations they have with LeBron, whether it’s with LeBron directly or with his representation over the next 24 to 48 hours, is going to be a pivotal moment. They’re going to have to sell LeBron on a plan that would include potentially coming here to L.A. without another star free agent. Because at this point I don’t think the Lakers have the inside move on Paul George and they don’t have anywhere close to a deal for Kawhi Leonard. So they’ve got to be able to sell LeBron on the fact that they can build a team around here. They have a lot going for them. If they’re able to do that, I think LeBron is very interested in putting pen to paper in the short term here to join the Lakers.”

Since Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka took the lead in the Lakers’ front office, the organization has carefully maneuvered its way to being in position to add a pair of players to max contracts this summer. Though, Johnson and Pelinka have also indicated the salary cap space could be rolled over to 2019.

Although the ship may be sailing with George, every indication has been the Lakers will at least receive serious consideration from James. And if they’re able to sign the 14-year All-Star, it could accelerate trade talks for Leonard.

Another domino effect might be players willing to sign on team-friendly deals if it means joining a competitive team. Much like what’s been seen with the Golden State Warriors.

Whatever James ultimately decides, it could come rather quickly. He reportedly will not meet with the Cavaliers at midnight Eastern on Sunday morning, and is said to want to sign with a team in the early stages of free agency.

Medium Large is looking to add motivated individuals with big dreams and a big appetite for success to our direct sales team based in Los Angeles or Orange County. If you love sports, know digital sales, and can throw your weight behind an aggressive commission based opportunity than we would love to talk to you. Please apply at: If you meet our criteria we will be in touch!

You May Also Like

Lakers Rumors: Tyronn Lue Informed Luke Walton He Has Not Been Contacted About Head Coaching Job

With less than 10 games in the 2018-19 NBA season, much of the attention has been on Los Angeles Lakers head coach…

Lakers Trade Rumors: Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram And Young Core Not Considered ‘Untouchable’

After five years of missing the playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in a good position. With a competitive…

NBA Rumors: Lakers Never Made Offer To Julius Randle Despite Luke Walton’s Preference To Re-Sign Him

When the Los Angeles Lakers signed LeBron James to a four-year, $154 million deal in free agency, there was an opportunity…

Lakers Rumors: Pau Gasol Says ‘No First Or Second Option’ In Free Agency

[new_royalslider id=”130″] As the uncertainty surrounding free agent Pau Gasol continues to…