LeBron James has helped quickly transform the Los Angeles Lakers into an NBA powerhouse. James lifted the Lakers to an NBA title in only his second season with the franchise. The four-time league MVP may already have his eyes on the team’s next big-splash move ahead.
LeBron James focused on push Lakers to another NBA title
In his second year with the Lakers, LeBron James helped guide the franchise to an NBA title.
The path toward repeating as champions have come with some significant hurdles along the way. James is currently out of the mix dealing with a high ankle sprain, while Anthony Davis hasn’t taken the floor since mid-February due to a bothersome Achilles injury.
Despite that, the Lakers continue to hold one of the top records in the Western Conference. The team also recently acquired two-time All-Star big man Andre Drummond after his contract buyout from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Ultimately, LA’s title chances this year hinge on the health of their two stars leading the way in the playoffs. However, James is already looking beyond this season with his recruitment of another superstar talent.
LeBron James reportedly recruiting his next superstar teammate
Since joining the Lakers, LeBron James has had a big hand in shaping the team’s roster.
James notably played a pivotal role in helping get Anthony Davis comfortable with a trade to LA. During a recent episode of ESPN’s Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective Podcast, Windhorst created some significant buzz after voicing that the four-time league MVP is recruiting Stephen Curry to join him next offseason.
“I thought it was hilarious over All-Star Weekend — LeBron praising Steph up and down. LeBron obviously has begun the recruiting of Steph in the event he wouldn’t extend, and that somehow he would become a free agent.”
“LeBron has begun the recruiting of Steph, in the event that he wouldn’t extend and somehow became a free agent the Lakers would have a swing at him”
Windhorst also was quick to point out that he anticipates Curry taking the extension from the Warriors this upcoming offseason. His comments have come with immediate backlash given the unwavering belief that the 33-year-old is viewed as a Warriors’ lifer aiming to spend his entire NBA career with the franchise.
However, Windhorst noted that James wouldn’t be exploring this potential route with Curry if he didn’t see some doubt lingering. There is some strong mutual respect between the two that has only continued to grow greater, especially after their experience together as All-Star teammates.
It marked the first time they played on the same team, which each has spoken highly of the unique experience. Much would need to unfold before things could head toward that route, but the opportunity could be there if Curry is interested.
Is Stephen Curry to LA a pipe dream?
Since Stephen Curry’s contract situation became a prominent discussion, there has remained a firm notion he will re-sign with the Warriors.
The two-time league MVP has expressed multiple times his strong desire to stay with Golden State for the long haul. It’s the franchise that he has spent his entire career developing into one of the league’s best players while winning three NBA titles in five NBA Finals appearances.
It’s where his legacy lies, and there is a strong aspiration to continue that path in Golden State. Curry would have every reason to remain with the Warriors well beyond receiving the most lucrative contract that any team can offer.
However, there could be a sliver of doubt stemming from the team’s future. Yes, the franchise has young talent such as James Wiseman and potential massive salary-cap space ahead. However, the Warriors’ window to compete for an NBA title in the immediate future could be closing.
There is no certainty that Klay Thompson will return to the player he once was after suffering back-to-back significant injuries (torn Achilles, torn ACL). Thompson could prove that doubt wrong, but it’s an uphill battle ahead that could come with some nagging health issues (ex. Kevin Durant’s lingering leg issues this season).
The Lakers could provide him the opportunity to get back into NBA title contention immediately while playing alongside two star players. It’s not to suggest that Curry will leave the Warriors, but if he wanted to venture the route in LA, the franchise would roll out the red carpet to land him.