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Lakers rumors: If L.A. convinces LeBron James to sign, Russell Westbrook may be his first recruiting target

LeBron James’ potential free agency next season has been a hot-button topic during the NBA offseason. The Cavs are reportedly operating under the assumption that James will indeed opt out of his contract next summer and take his talents elsewhere once again.

Perhaps the most prevalent rumor has linked James with the Los Angeles Lakers. And if he does indeed decide to sign with the Lakers, James’ preferred running mate could be reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.

“Whispers around the NBA suggest James would love to team up with the explosive guard.”

Like James, Westbrook could still become a free agent next season as he is yet to sign the five-year, $207 million super-max extension which he has already been offered by the Oklahoma City Thunder. And like James, Westbrook has also been linked with the Lakers if he does hit free agency. Westbrook has ties to the city after he played his college ball at UCLA.

However, Pincus also reports that some people around the league believe Westbrook will ultimately opt against going back to the West Coast.

“That said, when asked, various NBA executives believe Westbrook will eventually sign his deal with the Thunder.”

The thought of Westbrook and James potentially teaming up is certainly a fascinating one. Seeing arguably the two most freakishly athletic players ever to play in the NBA posting triple-double numbers on the same team would be the stuff of dreams.

It would also be amusing to think that after Kevin Durant left Westbrook to join then-reigning MVP Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors and defeat James’ Cavs, James would then go out and team up with the current MVP in Westbrook to try taking down Durant and the Dubs.

But unless Westbrook is really willing to turn his back on over $200 million and return to being the sidekick, it’s hard to see that the dream James-Westbrook tandem coming to fruition in LA.