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As if there were any uncertainty, the Los Angeles Lakers are going to be aggressive in free agency to land a star player this summer.
Team president Magic Johnson wasn’t happy with the way things went at the trade deadline, as the squad was unable to land Anthony Davis, but there are still big fish out there.
“That’s not going to change our plans this summer,” Johnson said Sunday, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. “It’s a great [free-agency] class, and we just want to get one of them.”
Depending on what players do with their contract options this summer, the free-agent class is shaping up to be a big one. Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving are among those who could be available, and the Lakers will certainly be interested in a bunch of them.
LeBron James seemingly already got a start on recruiting with his picks for the All-Star Game:
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Leonard and Klay Thompson are from Southern California and could want to return home once they hit free agency. Playing with James could also be a draw for a number of players regardless of position.
The Lakers got a huge win in free agency this past offseason when LeBron signed a four-year deal. Unfortunately, he has missed time because of injury, and the young players on the roster haven’t lived up to expectations.
After Sunday’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles is 28-28 on the season and just 8-14 since Christmas.
It’s clear it will take another established player for the team to be competitive in the Western Conference, and the team was unable to land Davis in a trade. While the two sides can negotiate a deal in the summer, the Lakers don’t really have anything more to offer after negotiations failed before Thursday’s deadline.
The team will seemingly instead focus on free agency to try to add a second star to the roster.