The Los Angeles Lakers are embracing the long game idea towards returning to greatness.
Instead of making cap space towards the 2018 summer of free agents, all indications point towards riding out this season without significant roster moves.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 6, 2018
This July, players like LeBron James, Paul George and DeMarcus Cousins will all be able to test the free agent market. That said, George appears to be leaning towards re-signing with OKC and Cousins recently suffered a season-ending achilles injury. LeBron has long been rumored to have interest in joining the Lakers but it’s truly anybody’s guess who he signs with, if he leaves Cleveland at all.
The 2019 free agency class will likely include All-Stars such as Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard. Waiting an extra year to chase big name free agents means the Lakers won’t have to rush to create cap space before Thursday’s trade deadline and will also allow their young core to develop which might encourage veterans, like the aforementioned players, to sign with the Lakers next Summer.
The Lakers are playing much better of late. They are currently 10-4 in their last 14 games, and focusing on the long term would give the young core of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma additional time to grow.
If they continue to blossom with more playing time and turn the team into a contender, it will make the Lakers all the more attractive for someone such as Thompson—who is from Los Angeles—or Butler.
Playing the long game in LA is the best possible course the Lakers can take to assure success again.