The Los Angeles Lakers have major plans this summer and it'll begin with free agency in the coming weeks as they attempt to lure up to two marquee names.
The California-based franchise made multiple trades at the February deadline to open up two max contract slots on their roster and have set their sights on landing the two biggest stars on the open market this offseason; LeBron James and Paul George.
They will face stiff competition to secure the services of either player but they're willing to do whatever it takes.
After George requested a trade from the Indiana Pacers last summer and indicated his preference to join the Lakers, it always seemed like a foregone conclusion that he would end up in L.A. in free agency next month even though he spent last season with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
As a native of Southern California, PG13 has expressed a desire to move back to his hometown but there are doubts that this now will happen.
Smith noted the OKC plan on offering him a max contract, and it will "be hard for him to pull away from that" when combined with his positive relationship with Russell Westbrook.
But the veteran ESPN insider did point out that the small forward's wife and parents would prefer him to sign with the Lakers.
Smith explained that failing to land the five-time All-Star could be a problem for the team as it may deter LeBron from also coming on board.
Risk and reward
The Thunder took a gamble on George even though it was widely believed that he had his heart set on a move back to his hometown and wasn't going to stay for longer than a year.
But the 27-year-old enjoyed his season in Oklahoma City and stated that he would "love to remain a Thunder" even after they suffered a disappointing first-round playoff exit.
He has developed a close friendship with Westbrook and the pair have spent a lot of time together already since their campaign ended.
Anybody who lands the All-NBA forward will be getting one of the league's best two-way players who averaged 21.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.0 steals per game in 2017-18 for OKC.
The Lakers have been desperate to have a player of this calibre on their roster for years but they may find it hard to convince him to leave the Thunder and join a team that hasn't made the playoffs since 2013.
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