Lakers turning focus to 2019 free agency

Lakers turning focus to 2019 free agency

Los Angeles Lakers fans' dreams of watching LeBron James orchestrate offenses and chase down would-be scorers in purple and gold might already be dashed, months before the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar hits free agency.

If there's one destination that a high number of reports are saying that 2018 National Basketball Association free agents are obsessed over, it's the Los Angeles Lakers, but if reports from the franchise are to be believed, they could be more focused on the player potential beyond the offerings of this summer.

Other 2018 free agents include Isaiah Thomas, DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul, while the 2019 class could include Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson and Kevin Love, among others.

However, Cousins recently ruptured his Achilles tendon, George has indicated he might stay with the Oklahoma City Thunder and James "is believed to have a reluctance" to join the Lakers without another established star in the fold.

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While the Lakers haven't been to the playoffs since the 2012-13 season, a long-term plan appears to be coming together as the young core shows positive on-court signs and the possibility of a marquee free-agent signing looms.

And without a few sidekicks, James would not want to be stranded in Los Angeles. "They're not giving up on this summer class of 2018, but they're also getting more realistic". If James continues his trend of signing deals with player options he could also be free agent again in 2019.

The Lakers have a talented young core that is led by Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, and those players are still very raw. The Lakers are 10-4 in their last 14 games (that included an impressive 108-104 win against the Thunder on Sunday) and with things going well, maybe the Lakers can afford to see how much this group can grow instead of pausing their development by plugging in a superstar.

While the Lakers could still move either or both players before Thursday's trade deadline, one league source put the chances of a meaningful trade at "50-50 at best".

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