Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka have been open about their quest to lure star players to the Los Angeles Lakers, and LeBron James’ commitment to the organization was a franchise-altering one.
The Lakers have gone from a rebuilding team to one on the brink of greatness, and their options are wide open. Not only can the Lakers add another star–via free agency or trade–they also have a host of young assets who could develop into star-caliber players.
The offseason talk has surrounded Kawhi Leonard, but the Lakers are in an advantageous position with youngsters like Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and Lonzo Ball. Plus, their play could soar playing alongside an NBA legend like LeBron.
The work is far from over, but Pelinka believes the Lakers are on the right path.
“We are on a journey, towards bringing the 17th banner to the Los Angeles Lakers, and we know we still have work to do to get there,” Pelinka told reporters at a press conference. “It’s the ultimate validation for a player like LeBron to choose to come here. So, that is a celebration. Just not an ultimate celebration.”
By adding veteran players like Lance Stephenson, Rajon Rondo, and JaVale McGee to their young core, the Lakers have also set up a desirable position where every play–with the exception of LeBron–will compete for his starting spot and minutes.
“LeBron James is going to be a starter, no breaking news there, but the other four spots, it’s going to be an open training camp decision,” Pelinka added. “And I think that’s good for everyone on our team because it’s getting them in the mindset to train hard this summer.”
LeBron’s decision has changed the attitude about next year’s Lakers, as they can be expected to compete for a high seed in the Western Conference.
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