After the Los Angeles Lakers successfully signed LeBron James, they are now looking to added another max-contract player in 2019 free agency.
With a projected $38 million in salary cap space, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka will be able to pursue Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant or Klay Thompson, among others.
However, unlike free agency this year, the Lakers will have plenty of competition in 2019, including down the hall at Staples Center in the form of the Clippers.
As the Clippers are projected to have two max-contract slots available, one executive believes they are an attractive destination without having to play in James’ shadow, according to Howard Beck of Bleacher Report:
And yet one rival executive calls the Clippers “the most attractive free-agent situation of all of them, because none of the available free agents want to be LeBron’s caddy. And they can become the greatest player in the history of a franchise in an unbelievable market with the wealthiest owner in the league. Why would that not thrill you?”
After James signed with the Lakers, there have been multiple reports about Butler and Leonard eyeing the Clippers instead. Since they are in the prime years of their careers, it is understandable why they would want to be a team’s first option while still playing in Los Angeles.
As for the Lakers, there seemingly are plenty of players who want to play with James. While it was a major adjustment for Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, it ultimately resulted in three championships in eight consecutive NBA Finals appearances.