It’s no secret that LeBron James is the King of the NBA and one of the greatest of all time. But what many fans are not realizing is the impact LeBron James has on the league. Earlier this year, LeBron James signed a 4 year $154 million dollar contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. This will be the third team for the NBA superstar since entering the league in 2003. But what we know about LeBron is that he doesn’t ever plan on playing for a team without at least one other star player and the current Laker roster is set with well-known names such as Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Ben Ingram, and JaVale McGee. Will this be enough for LeBron James moving forward?
Not only is LeBron new to the Lakers, Magic Johnson is fairly new as the President of Operations for the Lakers. Magic Johnson reminded the media of his plans for the Lakers with this statement. “Like I told you before, I took the job and when I took the job, it’s going to be a two summer thing for the Lakers, this summer (2018) and next summer (2019) that’s it! And if I can’t deliver she (Jeanie Buss) won’t have to fire me, I’ll step down myself because then, I can’t do this job.”
With 2018 already being a successful summer acquiring LeBron James, the Lakers still have salary cap room to sign a max deal to players like Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, and even Kevin Durant. These players will all be free agents in the summer of 2019 and have all seen that playing alongside LeBron James has its perks, number 1 being an automatic ticket into the NBA Finals. Of course, he can’t do this by himself in a stacked Western Conference but with the combination of young talent with another superstar, anything is possible.
The Lakers originally targeted hometown native Paul George, but he committed to re-signing with the Oklahoma City Thunder and though superstar Kawhi Leonard stated his desire to join LeBron this summer, the Spurs sent him to Canada for DeMar DeRozan. With the possibility of Leonard still joining LeBron, the Lakers still have the option of pulling young talent like Lonzo Ball on the market next summer. After a year with two NBA players with high basketball IQ like Rondo and LeBron, Lonzo Ball can only increase his value on the trade market. Potentially making him a good fit to be traded for another California native Damian Lillard as the Trail Blazers may look to rebuild barring no progress this coming season.
The options for the Lakers seem almost endless next summer as they plan to dethrone the Warriors in the West with the King of the NBA now in purple and gold. LeBron James has been to 8 consecutive NBA Finals with two different teams. Not only is this persuasive for free agents, but for a franchise that has missed the last 5 postseasons, LeBron James brings a ray of hope.