When LeBron James decided to move his talents to Los Angeles in the summer of 2018, it was a new chapter for Lakers.
At the time, James and the Lakers (who at the time were still managed by Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka) promised each other to do whatever it took to hang a purple and gold 17 banner on the rafters. Then, in his second year with the team, James delivered on his promise, leading the team to the 2020 NBA Championship.
But just two seasons after winning the championship, almost everything the Lakers built during LeBron’s tenure has fizzled out. Not only have the Lakers wrapped up what might be the most disappointing season in franchise history, they are It became a lost year for James, Now heading into the 20th season of his fictional basketball career.
Thanks a bunch of horrible deals And free contracts with agents, which helped Disassemble the tournament list They have, the Lakers are currently stuck in the mud, ironically Waiting for another team to fall To fix the mess they made themselves in the first place. But unlike in the run-up to James’ arrival, Rob Pelinka and the Lakers have a deadline to rebuild their team from a non-playoff team to a championship contender in just a few weeks.
Because this time, the pressure is coming from James, whose contract with the Lakers is due to expire next year No ink to stretch. Even if there is Reports that James is satisfied with his livelihood in Los AngelesThe Lakers still have to win the gold medal in the remaining weeks of the summer if they are to move forward with the full commitment of the four-time champions.
But at least, according to Yahoo Sports Chris Haynes, Pelinka is well aware of what is at stake for the Lakers this season and the importance of turning the franchise around this season. The general manager has made it clear that he wants James to spend the last few years of his career in a purple and gold jersey. According to Haynes:
“Belenka made clear his feelings that he wanted James to retire as a Laker player and promised to provide him with all possible resources to compete for a championship every year with the organisation,” the sources said.
Currently, the Lakers are far from being considered contenders but Pelinka and even Jenny Boss said they haven’t finished taking steps. No one is questioning Pelinka and Boss’ intentions, but it will still be interesting to see how hell they are determined to put James in a position to contend for the championship with whatever moves they make over the next few weeks.
Will it be Lakers Willing to give up the rest of its tradable capital If that’s what it takes to help James get another title chance?
Will they be able to save them The worst business deal in franchise history?
did they Correct driving assembly And the players around their star to carry it again?
The answers to these questions could determine whether or not James continues to wear the purple and gold jersey over the next few years.
Because even though the Lakers have made it clear that they want James to be part of the organization until he retires, he hasn’t joined that plan yet. And it looks like the only way the Lakers can regain James’ confidence is to have a big hit (or two) in the trade market in the next few weeks.