As teams are filling out the remainder of their rosters for the 2017-18 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers are currently looking for Lonzo Ball’s backup. With a $4.4 million exception available, the storied franchise has recently been linked with Derrick Rose and Ian Clark.
While President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka have had a successful first offseason, the focus remains on next year’s free agency class, which features LeBron James and Paul George. As Kyrie Irving has reportedly asked the Cleveland Cavaliers to trade him, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN continues to link James with the Lakers:
With James refusing to commit to Cleveland beyond the coming season, with the growing verdict that James is intrigued with pursuing a Los Angeles Lakers exit plan, Irving has become proactive in controlling his own career arc.
With Irving’s uncertain future in Cleveland, there have been discussions about what it ultimately means for James as well. After losing to the Golden State Warriors in the 2017 NBA Finals, the Cavaliers re-signed Kyle Korver and signed Jeff Green, Jose Calderon, and Cedi Osman in free agency. If the Warriors remain relatively healthy for the next couple seasons, it is difficult to see any team dethroning them.
As for the Lakers, there is growing optimism with Johnson and Pelinka in charge. After trading D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to clear cap space for two max players next summer, Ball and Kyle Kuzma also shined at the Las Vegas Summer League. With a young core and head coach Luke Walton heading into Year 2 of the rebuilding process, it will be interesting to see if they can show they are one or two players away from contention in the upcoming season.
James averaged 26.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 8.7 assists in his 14th season.