Without a doubt the biggest prize of this summer’s free agent class is Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James. The Los Angeles Lakers have done a ton of work in order to clear out salary cap space for a chance at signing both LeBron and another star.
A player of his magnitude would immediately change the fortunes of any franchise, and there are already fan recruiting efforts going on. But with the Lakers’ recent history of being unable to land big-name free agents, there are questions as to how much of a shot they actually have at bringing LeBron in.
While it is unknown whether they will actually be successful, it does seem as if the Lakers will at least have a real shot at James. According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Lakers are one of four teams on James’ free agency list:
There have been whispers, mostly on social media, about whether LeBron James would consider the Spurs because of the mutual respect between James and Popovich, now the coach of the U.S. men’s national basketball team. But I’ve consistently heard from multiple league sources that LeBron currently has only four teams on his list: the Cavaliers, Lakers, Rockets, and 76ers.
That is certainly some tough competition for the Lakers. LeBron is all about winning and the Lakers have the worst record of the four teams listed. The Houston Rockets and Cavaliers are both championship contenders right now, while the Philadelphia 76ers will be a playoff team with another All-Star already in-house.
Regardless, L.A. offers an extremely promising young team that could jump up the standings, especially if they were to bring in another All-Star such as Paul George. Add in the fact that LeBron has two homes in the L.A. area and that his family is based here, and that could be enough to persuade him.
The pressure will be on president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka to convince LeBron that the Lakers are his best option. But at the very least, it looks like they will at least get an audience with James, which is more than the organization has had with previous big names.
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