After successfully acquiring a legitimate NBA superstar this summer, Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka made it clear that they are not done yet in upgrading their roster. The Lakers purposely filled their roster with one-year contracts to maintain their salary cap flexibility for the summer of 2019 where they are expected to be aggressive on the market finding another superstar to pair with LeBron James.
The 2019 NBA free agency will feature several big names like Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker, DeAndre Jordan, and DeMarcus Cousins. Unfortunately for the Lakers, there are rumors that some of those NBA superstars, including Butler and Leonard, are not interested in teaming with LeBron James.
Cleveland Cavaliers superstar Kevin Love, who spent four seasons as James’ sidekick, knew how hard it is to play alongside the best basketball player on the planet. When the Minnesota Timberwolves traded him to the Cavaliers, Love needed to make a huge adjustment in his game just to make himself fit with James. However, in an interview with Brian Windhorst of ESPN, Love said that he will recommend incoming superstar free agents to “seek out a chance” to play with James.
“You have to be resilient. I had a lot of hard nights. There were dark times,” Love said. “But I always believed keep fighting, I was stubborn about it. And LeBron makes sure you have a chance to win every year. He’s gotten a lot of guys rings. You’re going to win at the highest level. We won and we bonded and we’re going to continue this brotherhood.”
— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) October 24, 2018
What Kevin Love said is true. LeBron James ruled the Eastern Conference for eight straight years and won two NBA championship titles with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami and one with Love and Kyrie Irving in Cleveland. However, James’ greatness will be tested in his first season playing for the Purple and Gold.
After eight years of dominance, the 2018-19 NBA season could be the first time since 2010 that James will not be competing in the NBA Finals. Unlike in his previous stints with the Cavaliers and the Heat, James is currently surrounded by young players and veterans whose fit with him remains a big question mark. As of now, James and the Lakers continue to struggle and are on a three-game losing streak.
If they fail to address the areas they need to improve, the Lakers may extend their playoff drought to six years, and NBA fans may experience a LeBron-less postseason. However, knowing James, he will surely do everything to help the Lakers return to the Western Conference Playoffs this season.