Despite checking LeBron James’ contract extension off of his to-do list this summer, Rob Pelinka still remains focused on retooling the Lakers’ roster. After all, Pelinka and Jeanie Buss have said that they’re not done making moves and it seems as though the former is attempting to keep his word.
As currently constructed, the Lakers have an obvious need for shooters, 3-and-D players, and size. That’s why, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Pelinka has been working hard to fill in those gaps and put Los Angeles in a better position to compete for banner number 18.
“… I still think this is a Laker team, Rob Pelinka, has still been very active even in the dog days of August. He’s been on the phone a lot. He’s still trying to find deals to bring in more shooting perhaps size and so I think those conversations continue all the way to training camp until the start of the season. I still think this Laker roster may not look dramatically different but subtly different going into next season.”
Woj didn’t get into specifics about who the Lakers are trading for, but it’s clear that the team isn’t completely satisfied with the roster they have today. And now, with James extending his commitment to the team, the pressure to go all-in and maximize his tenure is as vital as ever. Luckily for the Lakers, James’ commitment helps them in their current trade negotiations.
First, it removes the public pressure on the Lakers, who might have plausibly seemed desperate to make a roster upgrade to appease LeBron before he would agree to an extension. Second, Los Angeles can more comfortably give up draft assets to improve the roster, now armed with the knowledge they’ll have LeBron carrying them towards contention for at least two more seasons.
So, hopefully this time around, Pelinka has the upper hand in those trade conversations he’s been occupied with in the past few weeks.
That said, James wouldn’t have extended his contract this early if he didn’t trust in the plans of the front office. At the very least, it’s another indication that both parties are aligned and remain determined to work together to bring more championships to Los Angeles.