One of the worst-kept secrets, if it can even be referred to as such, is that the Los Angeles Lakers intend to pursue the likes of LeBron James and Paul George once they become free agents this summer. DeMarcus Cousins was included in that group, but it’s unclear what impact his Achilles injury will have.
James and George have long been purported targets of the Lakers, and countless other teams. It’s what made the Lakers’ trade with Cleveland at this year’s deadline all the more intriguing.
By sending Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to the Cavaliers, the Lakers are in position to sign two max-level free agents. Reports have indicated James is not keen on signing with the Lakers as the lone big prize of 2018.
A few days ahead of making his first return to Los Angeles as a member of the Cavaliers, Clarkson revealed Lakers players discussed the possibility of signing James, per Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:
“I wouldn’t say like management and the coaches or nobody, but in the locker room people talk when they see what’s going on,” Clarkson said, after the Cavs beat the Denver Nuggets 113-108. “That’s probably the only thing, people talk in the locker room.”
That the Lakers locker room would become involved in any form of conversations pertaining to James is hardly a surprise. The team’s reported plans for free agency were said to have caused some issues amongst the players, which in turn led to a team meeting to air out grievances.
Where James will sign is anyone’s guess. And until a decision is made, it can be presumed players, fans and media alike will speculate over the various scenarios. James may even face inquiries this weekend, particularly with Lakers fan and attorney Jacob Emrani paying for billboards, recruiting James, to be put up throughout Los Angeles.