If your jaw dropped after reading the headline, don’t worry you aren’t alone.
The Los Angeles Lakers have always been a franchise looking to make big moves and they have title aspirations almost every season. Mediocracy is not acceptable in Los Angeles, and the front-office is always finding ways to build a championship roster year-in-and-year out.
The Lakers recently acquired Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, forming one of the most talented teams in the NBA. Los Angeles has not won an NBA title since 2010, but there is a good chance the franchise raises its 17th banner in 2012-13. Still, even with the additions of Nash and Howard, Kobe Bryant will always be the Lakers’ leader.
Bryant will be aiming to win his sixth title come June and surpass Magic Johnson’s tally of five. This may be Kobe’s last great run and he hinted at retirement in two seasons. Although he may change his mind after the 2013-14 season, there is a chance that Kobe will end up leaving the only team he has played for.
Bryant has been the face of the Lakers for almost two decades, and it’s hard to imagine the team without him. However, ESPN reports that the Lakers have already looked forward to the future and they may have their sights on another league superstar.
Several teams’ executives have told ESPN.com they believe the Lakers are positioning themselves to make a run at LeBron James in 2014, when the Miami Heat star can choose to become a free agent.
For the 2014-15 season, the Lakers will have a plethora of cap space to go after James as most of their larger salaries will be off the books. Los Angeles is in the perfect spot to sign LeBron James and begin their post-Kobe era with one of the best players the league has to offer.
The Heat currently have James signed through 2016, but there is a chance James ends his contract in 2014 or 2015. In fact, many people around the league expect James to become a free-agent in 2014. So even though most Lakers fans often ridicule James and his play, he may end up wearing the purple-and-gold some time in the future, but for now this is nothing more than a rumor.
In case you missed it: Kobe talks A-Rod, growing up in a family of “a-holes.”
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