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Sport Don't worry, LeBron James — there is method to Lakers' free-agency madness

18:09  03 july  2018
18:09  03 july  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

The Lakers are in a catch-22 trying to form the NBA's next super-team with LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard

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Don ' t worry , LeBron James — there is method to Lakers ' free - agency madness . For the Lakers , this has been the Summer of Strange, the Offseason of Oddity.

The Lakers won’ t challenge for a championship in the short term with LeBron James and an unusual roster. But in the long term, their method could pay off. For the Lakers , this has been the Summer of Strange, the Offseason of Oddity. There was , of course, the big win, which was announced Sunday

For the Lakers, this has been the Summer of Strange, the Offseason of Oddity. There was, of course, the big win, which was announced Sunday night when the team got star LeBron James to agree to a four-year deal to leave Cleveland and play out the back nine of his career in Southern California.

Other than that, it’s been a bizarre collection of moves that was capped off on Monday evening by, essentially, swapping out Julius Randle — the most consistent, if not the best, player on last year’s team, with averages of 16.1 points and 8.0 rebounds — for capricious point guard Rajon Rondo, who has wanted to be a Laker going back to 2015, before LA drafted D’Angelo Russell with the No. 2 pick.

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The Lakers won’ t challenge for a championship in the short term with LeBron James and an unusual roster. For the Lakers , this has been the Summer of Strange, the Offseason of Oddity. There was , of course, the big win, which was announced Sunday night when the team got star LeBron James to

44 thoughts on LeBron James ’ Lakers move. This is every bit as monumentally Earth-shattering as it appears. There is no corner of the NBA untouched by the decision. It’s certainly the most important event since Kevin Durant joined the Warriors two years ago, even if it won’ t immediately change the

MORE: NBA free agent tracker — See who goes where

Rondo was given a one-year deal at $9 million. Randle then signed with the Pels for a two-year deal starting at the $8.6 million midlevel exception.

In all of this, a strategy has taken shape for the Lakers, and it’s not just a mad dash to collect as many zany NBA characters as possible now that James is on board. Again, Rondo got one year. So did daffy big man JaVale McGee and the always erratic Lance Stephenson, famous as much for once blowing into James’ ear during a playoff matchup as for his talents on the court.

The Lakers also kept guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who averaged 13.4 points and 5.2 rebounds, and shot 38.3 percent from the 3-point line last season. He signed for — you guessed it — one year.

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LeBron Raymone James Sr. (/ləˈbrɒn/; born December 30, 1984) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

LeBron James has decided to become a free agent rather than exercising his .6 million option to stay under his current contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers for one more year, according to two people familiar with the decision.

Put it all together and you can see where this is going. The Lakers, so far, have dropped James onto a roster that still has, for now, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart. Ingram and Ball are both 20, while Kuzma is 22 and Hart is 23, and all four are still on their rookie scale contracts. A fifth, first-rounder Moe Wagner, will be on hand, too.

On the flip side, the team now has a slew of talented, oddball veterans — Rondo, McGee, Stephenson and Caldwell-Pope — on one-year deals.

MORE: Chris Bosh could join LeBron in LA, SN source says

The Lakers are in position to treat the 2018-19 season as a lengthy audition for those seeking long-term employment as a James teammate. Those who don’t pass muster can be set free next summer, when LA will have on their books only about $21 million for the four youngsters and Wagner, the waivable (and stretchable) $18 million on Luol Deng’s contract and the $38 million they’ll pay James.

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LeBron James ’ NBA free agency decision, Part 3. Yep. This was a thing we pointed out in our LeBron conspiracy blog. There was a direct flight from Anguilla (home of the Decision Cave) to So LeBron to the Lakers isn’ t confirmed? No, you impatient content-consuming hungry, hungry hippos.

Both Magic Johnson and LeBron James did extensive homework prior to their monumental meeting that convinced James to head to Los Angeles. James , alongside his agent Rich Paul, was all ears. After all these years of failed free agency pitches before Johnson took over as the Lakers ’ president

That’s $76 million — or more depending on Deng’s future — leaving ample space to sign a major free agent among a group that could include Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant or, yes, Kawhi Leonard.

Leonard, of course, could inspire the Lakers to alter their plans altogether. He has made clear he wants out of San Antonio and would like to head to the Lakers. But the Spurs and Lakers have not gotten too far on their trade talks — not yet, at least. If that changes, the Lakers will have to part with some number of the group of youngsters, a price the team will be willing to pay.

But the one-year contracts they’re amassing send a clear message, to the Spurs, to Leonard and to any team considering trading for Leonard — no matter what happens, the Lakers will keep themselves in position to sign Leonard in 12 months if they can’t trade for him now.

If you’re the Sixers and deciding whether to make a play for Leonard, the Lakers maintaining their 2019 flexibility is intimidating. No matter how thoroughly you woo Leonard after trading for him, if you’re not the Lakers, you’ve got to be worried about Leonard bolting.

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“ LeBron does not have to become a free agent . Under that scenario, if Kawhi and George don ’ t move, what about the option of just opting in to his “Then in 2019 there is the option of Kawhi and LeBron going to the Lakers together – or you learn more about Philadelphia and some of these other situations.

LeBron , Paul George and more league-shaping free - agency madness . Facebook. Twitter. That alone indicates the Lakers are at least a little worried and interested in nabbing Leonard now. The subtext of those reports might be that the Lakers viewed themselves in a race against the clock with

That’s the method behind what seems to be some Lakers madness. It’s not the fearsome lineup many expected would have to land in LA for James to agree to go there, but there is a plan here, even if no deal for Leonard emerges: Give the one-year free agents a shot, see how the young guys come along next to James and keep yourself in the running for a big-time player in 2019.

The Lakers won’t challenge for a championship in the short term that way. But in the long term, the method could pay off.

a man throwing a ball: LeBron James© (Getty Images) LeBron James

The way LeBron James told the Lakers he was signing with them was sort of anti-climactic .
I wouldn’t take anything under the two fist bumps and three flame emojis. Get ready for the Lakeshow.

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