The Los Angeles Lakers are almost set for the 2017-2018 season, hoping to sign one or two more free agents on low-end contracts to round out their roster. Everything is lined up for the summer of 2018 to be the Lakers’ big offseason push, with cap space to spare and their eyes set on landing LeBron James.
The Lakers have had LeBron in their sights since the moment Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka settled into their roles as leaders of the franchise, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. That’s one of the reasons the team immediately shifted to signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope once he hit the open market, hoping to start warming up to agent Rich Paul who represents both Caldwell-Pope and James.
“From the moment Detroit renounced Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the moment I reported they renounced him and he was now an unrestricted free agent, the Lakers were already on that,” Wojnarowski told Rachel Nichols on The Jump.
“This is all part of the greater LeBron conversation, and the Lakers are going to be, just like they're in full Paul George mode from now until July 1 next year, the LeBron has started. And it started the day they took over,” Wojnarowski said.
Los Angeles is considering all angles when it comes to courting LeBron next summer, and Wojnarowski intimated that the Lakers had legitimate interest in finding a way to end up with Dwyane Wade this summer following the Jimmy Butler trade as a boost to their future chances with James.
“After Dwyane Wade opted back into his contract for this year and then Jimmy Butler got traded, and Dwyane was trying to figure out are we going to go forward together here in Chicago...
“The Lakers had interest if Chicago was A) willing to potentially trade him or if Dwyane got a buyout in Chicago, the Lakers absolutely would've had interest in signing him,” Wojnarowski said.
LA is in position to sign multiple players to max contracts next summer and have young talent they’re hoping proves to be attractive when the next free agency period begins. The Lakers have been busy this summer, while James is reportedly “frustrated” with how the Cleveland Cavaliers’ offseason has gone.
We haven’t come anywhere close to the end LeBron-to-the-Lakers rumors filling the sky with smoke. The trick will be waiting to see how big the fire is once the summer of 2018 arrives.