When the Los Angeles Lakers put themselves in position to sign two 2018 free agents to max contracts, the players they were most linked to were LeBron James and Paul George.
As George did not even meet with the Lakers before agreeing to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles has now been connected to DeMarcus Cousins in hopes of signing James.
With James’ representatives meeting with the Philadelphia 76ers, these are anxious times in Los Angeles.
Although the Lakers have been viewed as the favorites to sign the four-time MVP, it is unclear how the possibility of not playing with another All-Star caliber player will affect his decision.
In search of another top talent, the Lakers have also been said to be pursuing a trade for disgruntled San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard. But according Sam Amick of USA Today, there hasn’t been much headway made recently:
Meanwhile, a person with knowledge of the situation said there was no progress on a possible Leonard trade between the Lakers and Spurs as of mid-day Sunday.
Although Leonard has made it clear he wants to play for his hometown team, the Sixers are confident in their ability to trade for him, which in turn may improve their chances of signing James.
While there is a major risk of Leonard being a one-year rental, the Thunder just showed they were able to re-sign George under similar circumstances.
At this stage, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka have a major decision to make. If they trade their young core for Leonard, it will likely lead to James committing to Los Angeles.
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