SportRob Pelinka on expectation for Lakers next season: 'Anything short of a championship is not success'
Lakers free agency rumors: Here are three players LA could pursue if it can't land third star
The Lakers reportedly cleared enough space to sign a third max player Thursday, but they have a plan if they don't land one. While Los Angeles has reportedly been looking at stars like Kemba Walker, Kawhi Leonard and D'Angelo Russell in free agency, it could go off the beaten path to fill out its roster instead. Danny Green, Terrence Ross and Seth Curry are all on the Lakers' radar, according to ESPN and could give LeBron James pretty good complementary pieces to work with. All three players would give the Lakers much better shooting than they had a year ago as Green (45.5 percent), Curry (45 percent) and Ross (38.
After making drastic changes to the Lakers' roster this offseason, general manager Rob Pelinka stressed that expectations will be high entering the 2019-20 season.
The most notable change comes with the addition of Anthony Davis, who the Lakers acquired in a trade with the Pelicans in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram. When free agency started, the Lakers were in the running to land Kawhi Leonard.
But when the NBA Finals MVP opted to sign with the cross-town rival Clippers, the Lakers filled out their roster by adding DeMarcus Cousins, Danny Green, Jared Dudley, Quinn Cook and Avery Bradley. They also re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rajon Rondo, Alex Caruso and JaVale McGee.
Kawhi Leonard free agency rumors: Star wants Magic Johnson in Lakers meeting
The only problem is that the NBA has specifically told the Lakers that Magic can't be part of the team's formal free-agency process.
With the upgraded roster, Pelinka said Friday the Lakers need to win a 2020 NBA title in order to consider the season successful.
"For us anything short of a championship is not success," he said on a conference call ().
Pelinka also revealed he relied on input from James and Davis to help make decisions on filling out the Lakers' roster.
"We view our relationships here with our star players as partnerships," Pelinka. "I know both Anthony and LeBron are excited about the 14 guys and how we’re going to come together. Both of their input has been incredibly valuable to me."
Pelinka's comments come just a couple months after the Lakers finished 10th in the Western Conference with a 37-45 record, missing the playoffs for the sixth season in a row.
Lakers free agency rumors: Los Angeles an ‘unlikely destination' for JR Smith.
Smith was reportedly released by the Cavaliers on Monday. Once guard JR Smith clears waivers, the Los Angeles Lakers are an unlikely destination, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 15, 2019 Cleveland had been looking to move Smith, along with his partially guaranteed $15.6 million contract for 2019-20, and it was “surprised” it didn’t find a taker for him, according to an earlier report from Cleveland.com. Smith played in just 11 games in 2018-19 before he agreed to part ways with the Cavaliers and sat out the rest of the season.
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