Lakers venture could prove ‘too big a risk’ with roster questions to snag LeBron James
As LeBron James opted out of his deal early on Friday, it has become a two-horse race between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers to see who would wind up with the 33-year-old star by the end of this free agency period.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne joined Dan Patrick on his morning show to discuss potential alternatives for his future landing spot.
“I’m in the minority, I’ve been saying all along that he stays there one more year,” said Patrick on The Dan Patrick Show. “I don’t think he wants to join the Lakers a year early and with these kids, and they are kids, I think he’d like to see what happens with this 2019 free agency class and maybe he can orchestrate it a little bit better.”
“There’s too much unknown right now for him to just go ‘I’m all in on the Lakers.'”
Shelburne sided with Patrick, noting that the Lakers as a destination do pose a reasonable risk.
“When you’re a star of his stature, you don’t take a pitch meeting when you already know what you’re gonna get,” said Shelburne. “You don’t necessarily need to be taking risks. He’s done so much through his career, he doesn’t need to be the guy taking on the risk, and yet, that’s the position he is in right now.
The Lakers are going above and beyond to sign San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard in hopes to lure James out West, but they would have to trade some of their best prospects to make that happen, hollowing out their roster and giving James very little support besides Leonard — a definite risk to take if the Lakers can’t find enough veteran players to sign for the minimum to fill out their 15-man roster.