Magic Johnson still hopeful to pair LeBron James with another star
Despite the barrage of one-year deals coming at the coattails of LeBron James’ four-year, $154 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, president Magic Johnson is still hopeful to pair his best player with another star by next season.
“If we feel there’s somebody out there or a deal to be made to make our team better, then we’ll do it as long as it’s a great deal for us,” Johnson said, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “If it’s not, we have our team and we’ll go to battle, go to war with this team. We feel really good about this team.”
“Then we’ll have enough room for next summer to give another player a max deal. (General manager) Rob (Pelinka) and I, we already put the strategy together. LeBron, of course, changed some of that but we’re still going to stay disciplined and hope we’ll be a team that can have a championship run for a long time.”
This has been largely seen as complacency, but Johnson emphasized that the team is rather being diligent and focusing on the present while keeping an eye on the future.
The slew of one-year deals will allow the front office to have the utmost flexibility to make moves next summer, able to walk away from deals to Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and JaVale McGee if they don’t feel they fit their vision moving forward.