When LeBron James agreed to a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers the timeline in L.A. changed dramatically for the young Lakers to become a contender.
The rest of free agency has been the Lakers inking one-year deals with various veterans to hopefully make them more competitive, but also to kick the can along so they have major cap space for the summer of 2019 to go after top stars to pair with James. This season there are obviously high expectations for the Lakers given the addition of LeBron, but the idea that this roster is suddenly a legitimate contender in the West is probably a reach.
Still, that’s the task facing Luke Walton as his job is no longer to coach up a young roster and develop them, but instead to figure out the best way to handle the challenge of maximizing this roster around LeBron. There’s already speculation that Walton may be on the hot seat already given that he’s not LeBron’s guy, but for now, Walton is preparing for the most pressure he’s faced in a season as a head coach (not interim).