However, while James alone might make the Lakers a playoff contender, he doesn’t necessarily make them a title contender. Luckily, as history shows us, veterans tend to take substantial pay cuts to play alongside James in hopes of winning an NBA championship and the Lakers will have 13.8 million in cap space if they renounce the rights to Julius Randle, who reportedly no longer wants to be in L.A.
With James now in sunny Los Angeles, CA, where many players already have homes, it’s safe to assume this season will be no different. The question is, who will be following the King to La La Land?
We don’t know for sure, but let’s take a look at a few players that would make sense.
Literally any and all Klutch Sports clients
Minutes after it was announced LeBron James committed to signing with the Lakers, news also broke that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a fellow Klutch Sports client, agreed to return to L.A. on a one-year deal worth $12 million.
Coincidence? Absolutely not, if you’ve paid attention to the way James’ agent, Rich Paul, has operated over the past few years.
When James was in Cleveland, Paul used James’ star power as leverage to sign his clients to long-term, big money deals. It’s for that reason Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith will take up a combined $32 million through the 2019-20 season. Maybe not the only reason, but a big reason.
Expect Klutch Sports free agents like Nerlens Noel to be linked to the Lakers within the coming days.
Before you leave, let me explain.
After Chris Paul signed a long-term deal with the Houston Rockets and Dwyane Wade returned to Miami at the trade deadline last season, James isn’t brining the entire banana boat to Los Angeles. But Anthony, who recently opted into his deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder, could be a free agent soon and it seems impossible he passes up an opportunity to play with James in L.A.
Can anyone say banana tandem bike?
Life-threatening health concerns cut 11-time All-Star Chris Bosh’s Hall of Fame NBA career short, but the 34-year-old is hoping to make his return to the hardwood this season. According to Sean Deveney of Sporting News, he’s hoping the Lakers are the team to take a chance on him.
One name to keep an eye on to join LeBron James with the @Lakers , a source noted: Former @MiamiHEAT teammate Chris Bosh, who is seeking a return to the league after leaving the game as he was dealing with blood clots.— Sean Deveney (@SeanDeveney) July 2, 2018
Bosh was spotted at the Lakers practice facility several times this past season, chatting it up on the sidelines with his former agent and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka. If healthy, Bosh would be home run signing for Los Angeles, but that’s a big if.
If you believe we are missing anyone obvious, let us know in the comments below.