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NBA Rumors: Lakers ‘Hell-Bent’ On Pairing LeBron James With ‘Max-Level' Star In 2019

LeBron James

It is no surprise that the Lakers are looking to make some big moves this summer. but they have a history of holding back in the past. They could have traded for Paul George but decided to wait him out instead. They could have dealt for Kawhi Leonard but elected to try and sign him as a free agent.

Over the years, they have had opportunities to trade for other stars and sign top-level free agents. And, over the years, they have either been conservative in trading their pieces for another star or have failed their attempts to lure in a big name in free agency.

Why should anyone believe this summer will fare any differently?

Well, for starters, LeBron James. His clock is running out and the Lakers only have a small window to take advantage of his powers. Plus, if they do not win at all with LeBron James, it would be considered the ultimate failure for Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka.

The team recognizes this more than anyone, and are not going to take it easy this July, at least according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin.

“A source familiar with the three-hour meeting James had at his home with Johnson on the eve of his free-agency decision told ESPN that Davis’ name never came up when the two discussed future plans. But when the Lakers signed Rondo, Stephenson, Beasley, et al. to one-year contracts after George stuck with the Thunder, the message was clear: L.A. was hell-bent on pairing LeBron with a max-level free agent in the summer of 2019 — with the possibility to upgrade the roster via a trade even before that.”

So, L.A. wants to add additional talent to compliment LeBron. That sentiment is not surprising.

But, interestingly enough, the meeting never mentioned anything about the 2018/19 season. If we are to believe the report, the Lakers never expected to secure a star this season, and instead focused their efforts towards who they could get in the following summer. LeBron James knew this before he signed.

Granted, he likely did not expect the team to perform this bad, at least not with the pieces they did have. Still, it seems their plan never involved making any big trades this season.

They could not have picked a better summer, either. With Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, DeMarcus Cousins, Kawhi Leonard, and other big names hitting the market in July, the chances are likely that the Lakers will secure at least one of them to a long-term contract.

If they really are "hell-bent" on improving the roster and have been planning their approach for at least a year, they might not be in as bad of a position as we all thought.