Nike has already started removing the iconic LeBron James banner in Cleveland

Gladys Abbott
July 4, 2018

The Lakers are certainly winning free agency this year through signing players such as Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee, Lance Stephenson, and none other than LeBron James, but work still needs to be done in order to compete with the reigning champions, who recently had DeMarcus Cousins join their already scary squad. Then, realizing they ranked 26th in the National Basketball Association this past season in field goal percentage, the Mavs just signed Clippers free agent center DeAndre Jordan to a one-year, $24 million deal. L.A. may not be able to contend with the Golden State Warriors this season, but James is there for four years and is not looking at year one as the only chance the team has to win a title.

Additionally, with Kawhi Leonard potentially available in trade discussions during the upcoming season, it benefits the Lakers to showcase Ball as much as possible and increase his potential value in trade discussions.

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The top markets for sales of LeBron's Lakers jersey were Los Angeles, New York, Oakland/San Francisco and Cleveland. These moves haven't been received as positive due to the team draining most its remaining cap space on players that weren't in high demand and don't represent the strongest fits next to LeBron, even if the Lakers maintained cap space for next summer.

Los Angeles could consider trying to acquire Damian Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers. Curry's improved playmaking and shooting make him a solid fit for a Lakers team that is in dire need of more shooters and spacing. James' decision left a power vacuum in the Eastern Conference. However, Paul George was in the exact same situation previous year with his sights set on wearing purple and gold, and that didn't work out in the team's favor this summer. It is especially concerning that the Lakers couldn't convince Paul George to meet with them before deciding to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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