The Lakers have been extremely aggressive ahead of the 2017 NBA Draft in preparation of next offseason. On Tuesday, Los Angeles shipped 2015 No. 2 overall pick D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov’s albatross of a contract to Brooklyn in exchange for Brook Lopez and the No. 27 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
The move gave the Lakers a second late first round pick that they are attempting to use, along with either Jordan Clarkson or Julius Randle, to trade for Paul George. Bringing George in this year would give the Lakers extra cap space for 2018, because they would be able to use his Bird rights to go over the cap to sign him if necessary, giving them max space to bring in another star to pair with George. The prevailing assumption is that the Lakers will try to use that space to bring in LeBron James, who is rumored to be at least open to listening to offers outside of Cleveland next summer when he hits free agency.
James’ Los Angeles connection is well known. He owns a home there and his future outside of basketball is with his budding entertainment and multimedia company that is based in L.A. The Lakers being in L.A. is a good selling point for James, but can they offer him enough to entice him to make his final stand in the NBA as part of the purple and gold?