Less than a month before the 2018 NBA free agency starts, numerous rumors and speculations continue to surface in the league. Several incoming free agent superstars are currently being linked to NBA teams who are dreaming of contending for the NBA championship title next season. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (h/t Lakers Nation), the Los Angeles Lakers’ potential acquisition of LeBron James and Paul George in free agency remains as the “most intriguing scenario” this summer.
“The most intriguing scenario remains him partnering with LeBron James on Los Angeles. Because Paul George alone doesn’t make them a championship contender. But partnering with LeBron walking in the door, as Bobby (Marks) said earlier, there’s a fairly easy pathway for the Lakers to get that salary cap space. That’s going to be a conversation or conversations those guys are going to have once we get to July.”
Since assuming a front office role, Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka have already revealed their plan to make Los Angeles an attractive free agency destination for superstars. In the past months, the names of LeBron James and Paul George are topping the list of the Lakers’ free agent targets in the summer of 2018, and as of now, they are currently in a strong position to give both superstars a maximum contract.
Though other NBA teams are also expected to make a strong pitch to James and George, Johnson looked confident that they will be wearing purple and gold next season. Successfully acquiring both superstars will undeniably make the Lakers the top favorite team to challenge the Golden State Warriors for Western Conference supremacy.
According to Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead, the Lakers are one of the few teams in the league who is built to defeat the Warriors. They could follow the blueprint the Houston Rockets used to compete against the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. The Rockets’ recent playoff success shouldn’t be only credited to Chris Paul and James Harden but also to their defense and their ability to play five two-way players on the court.
As McIntyre noted, the Lakers currently have four two-way players on their roster. These include Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart. Combining LeBron James and Paul George to those young players will give the Lakers a high chance of beating the reigning NBA champions in a best-of-seven series, provided that Coach Luke Walton learns how to perfectly execute the Rockets’ strategy. As most people think, winning is expected to be the top priority of James and George in the upcoming free agency, and as Woj speculated, both superstars may really discuss the possibility of signing with the Lakers in July.