Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers are heading into a big offseason, with quite a few decisions to be made. They have money to spend and quite a few big free agents that they could target. It has not yet been determined whether the Lakers will actually spend their money this offseason or save it for the star-studded 2019 free agency class.
Rumors have been flying connecting the Lakers to names like LeBron James, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard. Even DeMarcus Cousins has come up as a potential Lakers’ target. All four players would be a huge pickup for L.A. and would help them take a big step toward playoff contention.
It is certainly going to be an entertaining offseason for Lakers fans. They will hear their team connected to more big names than they have heard in quite some time.
Los Angeles will also have some decisions to make about one of their key players. Julius Randle is headed into restricted free agency and the Lakers will have the right to match any offer sheet he signs. Bringing him back would also mean that the Lakers would only be able to target one of the big name free agents.
All of that being said, what bold predictions can be made for the Lakers heading into the 2018 NBA offseason?
Los Angeles Will Sign Paul George
Let’s go ahead and get this one out of the way. George has made it clear that he wants to play for his hometown team and the Lakers have already been connected to him on multiple occasions. George is going to sign with the Lakers and help take the team back to relevance in the Western Conference.
LeBron James Will Not Become a Laker
We might as well get this one out of the way as well. James is going to be connected to the Lakers until he signs and he may even meet with the team, but he will not end up signing with L.A. He will end up signing with either the Cleveland Cavaliers or Philadelphia 76ers when everything is said and done.
Brandon Ingram Will Be Traded
L.A. will be aggressive on the trade market and Brandon Ingram is their best trade chip. Ingram is an extremely talented player that the Lakers love, but they will part with him this offseason. Whether he is traded in a deal to net Kawhi Leonard or DeMar DeRozan, Ingram will not be back in L.A. in 2018-19.
L.A. Will Trade Up for Grayson Allen in the Draft
Johnson and company know that the Lakers could use more shooting and they will address that in the NBA Draft. Grayson Allen is expected to be taken in the early-to-mid part of the second round, and the Lakers will trade up to get him. They currently have the No. 47 overall pick in the draft and will find a way to bring the Duke star to Los Angeles.
Randle Will End Up Leaving Town
Even though the Lakers love Randle, they are going to end up bringing in two stars and won’t be able to retain the talented forward. Randle will end up joining a playoff contender. L.A. is ready to get themselves back to the playoffs and acquiring stars like George, DeRozan, or Leonard will not come cheap.