35-year-old LeBron James is still among the best players in the NBA -- but he can't do it on his own.
So, after their failure to make the playoffs last season, the Lakers pulled off a trade for Anthony Davis -- a young, dominant, multi-faceted big man who seemed eager to don the Purple and Gold. A year later, they stand as NBA Champions.
But as James continues to increase in age, questions linger about how long he will be able to play at an elite level, and what will happen when he finally does decide to call it a career.
In an appearance on Adrian Wojnarowski’s podcast, Lakers GM Rob Pelinka detailed a plan regarding life after LeBron: pairing up Anthony Davis with a talented young star.
“We do want to do a couple things. We hope that we can have another championship run next year, for sure, and we’re going to work hard to try to keep the pieces around LeBron and AD, build pieces around LeBron and AD to do that. But also, with the future, again, if you study our cap (space) we have the flexibility to say, “Can we add another really, really talented young player to run it out with AD if he chooses to stay as a free agent for five, six, seven, eight years?”
Davis, 27, has not yet signed a long-term deal with the Lakers. Having helped lead them to the Championship, the expectation is that he'll sign another short-term deal with the team. As for what might happen after, that remains a mystery.
But if they can keep him around, and bring in another young star to play alongside him, they'll be set for a long, long time.