There has been a lot of speculation over the last few weeks pertaining to NBA MVP candidate; Lebron James. In which he ultimately left the recently swept Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Los Angeles Lakers. The 33 year old superstar agreed to a four year, $153.3 million contract thanks to Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka who orchestrated the move that sent waves across the league. This signing shifts the tides for the promising yet struggling Lakers squad to a solid playoff team.
It was highly speculated that the Lakers would also obtain two other players, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Presumably, if these elite level basketball players were on the Lakers roster Lebron would pack his bags to the city of angels without a doubt in his mind. However; Paul George decided to stay with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Meanwhile the San Antonio Spurs have put a seemingly hefty asking price for Kawhi’s talents that put the Lakers front office in a tough spot since they do not want to give up their young core. This was expected to be a sure setback for the hopes of obtaining Lebron; surprisingly he still signed before an ultimatum was reached on any big free agent signings.
Kobe Bryant provided a warm welcome congratulating Lebron. However, James is bringing his own leadership over to the Lakers. Although the Lakers were unable to obtain Kawhi and Paul; they did add some solid depth for the upcoming season. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is back for a 1 year deal at $12 million. Lance Stephenson and JaVale McGee have also been signed under a 1 year contracts; Stephenson at $4.5 million, and McGee at $2.4 million respectively. The latest addition is veteran point guard Rajon Rondo another short term contract of 1 year at $9 Million.
Although this is not exactly the team that fans expected to take shape, they hope for it to be promising as the Western Conference is as stacked with talent the likes of which has never been seen before. The Lakers are now tied with the Celtics for having the second best odds to win the 2019 title according to Vegas. However, the Warriors are coming in strong, with an all-star starting five consisting of: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and recently signed DeMarcus Cousins; once his rehabilitation is complete after suffering an achilles tear in the previous season. Coming in to a new season with endless possibilities one thing is for sure. The Los Angeles Lakers are back baby.