The Los Angeles Lakers’ free agent moves this offseason have been something else. Beyond bringing in LeBron James, Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka decided to sign four veterans — Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo, and Lance Stephenson — to one-year deals, all of whom (except for Caldwell-Pope for his shooting) aren’t conventional fits alongside James.
The thing that made all of these signings more understandable was that all of them received one-year deals, and with James not pressing the team to create a title contender immediately, this gives James a year to settle into his new team. Plus with the Lakers striking out on Paul George and, if they’re lucky, Kawhi Leonard coming next summer, slow playing the James era makes sense with the lack of stars on the market this summer.
On Wednesday, Pelinka confirmed that this was indeed the team’s thought process. The Lakers general manager explained that signing veterans to short-term deals gave the team flexibility to make a big move next summer.