The Los Angeles Lakers will be active in free agency this summer, and will try to sign two superstars. The Lakers, led by president of basketball operations Magic Johnson, are looking to turn their fortunes around, as they are on pace to miss the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season.
The Lakers have Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James on top of their priority list. However, Gil Alcaraz IV of Hoops Habit believes James will stay in Cleveland. Alcaraz said, though, that the Lakers will not be left empty-handed because they will be able to sign superstar forward Paul George, and keep budding superstar Julius Randle in Los Angeles.
George is also on the radar of the Lakers since the superstar forward said that he wants to play in Los Angeles. While it is still more than three months away from free agency, Alcaraz is convinced that George is “primed to join the Lakers” this summer, saying that all signs are pointing to a homecoming in the offseason.
The 27-year-old superstar is having a good season with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Russell Westbrook has expressed confidence that George will stay in Oklahoma City. However, Alcaraz thinks otherwise because the California native has been very open about his desire to play for his hometown team.
George told Sam Amick of USA Today last month that he is happy in Oklahoma City. He also praised the front office of the Thunder for having the ability to build a competitive roster. However, the five-time All-Star pointed out that being happy with the Thunder does not mean that he is definitely re-signing this summer.
Even if they miss out on James in free agency, adding George to the mix will put the Lakers closer to becoming a serious contender again, especially if they can keep Randle in Los Angeles. Randle will become a restricted free agent this summer, but Alcaraz also thinks the Lakers will eventually match any offer sheet for the former Kentucky standout.
Randle is giving the Lakers a lot of reasons to keep him. The 23-year-old forward has been on a tear this month, averaging 23.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game. Although he is expected to get a lot of attention this summer because of his recent strong showing, Randle said that he wants to remain a Laker.
“It is the place that drafted me,” Randle said of staying in Los Angeles, according to ESPN. “I would love to be here. I have to do what is best for the family and hopefully they want me here as well.”