The Los Angeles Lakers started their journey towards bringing an NBA championship back to the franchise earlier this week when they officially confirmed the signing of LeBron James.
The former Cleveland Cavaliers star signed a four-year, $154 million deal with the Lakers, which also lead to the signings of Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, and JaVale McGee.
The Lakers have now positioned themselves to try and take the Western Conference spot in the NBA Finals away from the Golden State Warriors, something which they will build on further next offseason.
Magic Johnson, the Lakers’ president of basketball operations has said that the team intends to remain disciplined and keep salary-cap space to pursue another max free agent next summer.
Magic said, via ESPN: “If we feel there’s somebody out there or a deal to be made to make our team better, then we’ll do it as long as it’s a great deal for us.
“If it’s not, we have our team and we’ll go to battle, go to war with this team. We feel really good about this team.
“Then we’ll have enough room for next summer to give another player a max deal. [General manager] Rob [Pelinka] and I, we already put the strategy together.
“LeBron, of course, changed some of that, but we’re still going to stay disciplined and hope we’ll be a team that can have a championship run for a long time.”
Magic also stated as well that any decision the team makes, they’ll consult LeBron to see what he thinks and get his input as to what the team should do as well.
They could have plenty of options to pick from too since the only guaranteed contracts on the roster will be James and Luol Deng, while Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart have team options.
Potential 2019 free agents include Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Karl-Anthony Towns, Kyrie Irving, Kristaps Porzingis, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, and Kemba Walker. Plenty of options that LeBron would enjoy playing alongside.
Things are getting better at the Lakers, but it may just take a season or two to see the full effect of the work being put in today.
CLICK HERE to listen to Episode Two of the new GiveMeSport NBA podcast, featuring New York Times senior writer Marc Stein. Subscribe for all future episodes.