basketball

Report: Lakers 'recalibrating focus' for 2019

Realizing capturing a superstar during the upcoming offseason make perhaps he less a sure-thing than previous thought, Magic & Co. are looking forward.


Kahron Spearman


ESPN's Ramona Shelburne & Adrian Wojnarowski are reporting that the Los Angeles Lakers are shifting their focus toward the 2019 free agency class.

Apparently understanding that the young roster in need of more seasoning doesn't necessarily provide a star of LeBron James' caliber enough intrigue to reduce his options. 

The 2019 class could include San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard, Golden State's Klay Thompson, and Minnesota's Jimmy Butler. Leonard is up for a massive re-up that would be worth more than $200 million.

The belief has been that the Lakers were cutting an unapologetic path to salary-cap freedom for two maximum contract slots this July, clearing the way toward a pursuit of superstars like Cleveland's LeBron James, Oklahoma City's Paul George and New Orleans' DeMarcus Cousins. Now, Cousins has a torn Achilles tendon, George has suggested to ESPN's Rachel Nichols that the Thunder have an advantage in re-signing him, and James is believed to have a reluctance toward signing with the Lakers without an established star immediately joining him.

Moving parts to this plan are plentiful, and frankly, nothing that the Lakers front office proposes matters until LeBron James decides on a particular circumstance he believes will enable him to continue his championship quest. 

For example, if LeBron chooses San Antonio, Leonard (who also could accept the deal San Antonio is sure to offer) would likely resign.

That's just one of many scenarios, but all fallen dominos in the next 24 months will start on LeBron's finger.

SOU  RCES