The summer of 2018 has long been hoped to be a big one for the Los Angeles Lakers. The front office has been planning to carve out enough salary cap space for two maximum contracts in effort of signing the likes of LeBron James, Paul George or DeMarcus Cousins.
But it looks like plans may already be changing as the Lakers are reportedly beginning to shift their focus towards the 2019 free agency class. One big reason why is because the Lakers’ chances of landing James, George, or Cousins seems to be lessening by the day.
George continues to sound as if he wants to stay in Oklahoma City and Cousins will be coming off a torn Achilles. Now, according to Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, James is reluctant to sign with the Lakers if he isn’t joined by another established star:
Now, Cousins has a torn Achilles tendon, George has suggested to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that the Thunder have an advantage in re-signing him, and James is believed to have a reluctance toward signing with the Lakers without an established star immediately joining him.
None of this means the Lakers won’t still pursue these players this summer as the team will undoubtedly look to bring in the star they covet. The front office is simply being realistic about their chances and developing a backup plan for the following summer.
This could also change the Lakers’ plans as the trade deadline approaches. Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson have been excellent over the last month and if the Lakers don’t like their chances of landing LeBron or anyone else this summer, it wouldn’t make much sense to move either.
The summer of 2019 could include the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, and Kyrie Irving, so having eyes there isn’t a bad thing either. Major moves this week or this summer however, may not be on the horizon.
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