The Los Angeles Lakers have had a busy offseason during which the team not only signed the biggest free agent of the summer in LeBron James but also added a number of veteran supporting pieces to surround him.
In short order, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Michael Beasley joined the revamped Los Angeles roster. All but Beasley’s signing have been confirmed by the team.
Of course, this wasn’t the ideal scenario that most predicted for the Lakers, who had meticulously carved-out cap room. They had the ability to create enough space to not just give James a max contract, but also sign a second star to a max deal, with Paul George being the most likely target.
When George opted to remain in Oklahoma City with the Thunder, the Lakers quickly shifted their sights to the summer of 2019, when players like Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, and more could hit the market.
In order to give James the support he needs, the Lakers signed their cadre of veterans to one-year deals so as not to diminish their flexibility next summer.
However, according to Eric Pincus for Bleacher Report, an anonymous Lakers executive mentioned that the team could opt to reshape the roster before 2019 free agency:
“The roster we have in October may not be the same come February,” the executive continued. “But we like what we have.”
At this juncture, it’s almost impossible to predict what opportunities will be available in six months, but it sounds as though Los Angeles will not necessarily keep the roster as it is right now.
If they do decide to make a trade, they have a number of desirable young assets as well as future draft picks that could be sent out if the price is right.
With Leonard being traded from the San Antonio Spurs to the Toronto Raptors, and reportedly not being pleased with the move after demanding a trade to Los Angeles, all eyes will naturally fall to him.
Should the Raptors decide they can’t convince him to stay before he hits free agency next summer they could potentially put Leonard back on the block in order to recoup some of the assets they lost in acquiring him.
Nothing is certain, however, save for the fact that the Lakers will be ready to do whatever they think will give them the best opportunity to bring the team back to contention, whether that means making a move or standing pat.
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