He trusts Magic Johnson
Johnson took over as Lakers president of basketball operations last summer, and he claimed he would restore his team back to the prominence it held when he was running the Showtime in the ‘80s and ‘90s. That process began by landing the universe’s biggest star, but if we’ve learned anything from James’s season in Cleveland, it’s that one man can’t do it alone.
Building a juggernaut, especially in the stacked Western Conference, takes patience. And after Paul George snubbed his hometown to stay with Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Lakers will need more patience now than ever before.
Los Angeles is the favorite to land Kawhi Leonard, whether it’s via direct trade with the San Antonio Spurs or a delayed acquisition when he becomes a free agent next summer. And the Lakers have filled the roster with mostly one-year contracts, ensuring they’ll have more than enough cap space — along with a projected $8 million increase in the salary cap — to pursue another max free agent next summer.