In August of 2012, I was back home in Laguna Hills, CA during the final month of summer break before my senior year at the University of Washington. That summer I listened to about 8 hours of sports radio a day and had my Twitter feed up on my phone non-stop. I followed every NBA writer that had previously broken news before and waited with anticipation to see if my favorite team, the Los Angeles Lakers would become a super team once again.
Rumors had been all but confirmed that the Lakers would get the superstar-center Dwight Howard in a trade with the Orlando Magic. It was no longer a question of if it would happen, but when. I was still nervous though because nothing is certain until pen hits paper (a lesson I brutally learned a few months afterwards with the Chris Paul trade fiasco).
We all know that the Dwight Howard situation in LA was a mess, but that’s not the point. What I’m trying to say is that there has not been as much real excitement about a Lakers offseason since then. At least not until this offseason.
Last summer Paul George told the Pacers that he planned on going to the Lakers when he became a free agent. All season, other players have dropped hints that they knew George would end up in LA in the summer of 2018.
Then the writing on the wall in Cleveland led many to believe that LeBron James would leave once he became a free agent. He has two homes in the area and he was photographed multiple times touring high school campuses in Southern California. The Lakers have always been rumored to be in the running to get The King every time he became a free agent, but there is evidence that they are closer than ever this year.
The final piece of the puzzle was when Kawhi Leonard chose not to resign with the Spurs. This took a lot of people by surprise, including myself. When he was rumored to be focused on getting to Los Angeles, I let my hope raise high.
Could we get all three and create a team that could rival Golden States’? Surly with those three and whoever they decided not to trade for Kawhi (Ball or Ingram), it is possible.
But none of this is certain. PG13 is said to have grown very close with Russell Westbrook, LBJ is rumored to be heading to five different teams (as usual) and the Spurs would likely never trade a star player to the Lakers unless it was a deal that knocks their socks off.
The Lakers have been rumored to be in the running for a star free agent in every offseason that I can remember. But if they are able to pull this off, the Lakers could become a super team once again and end the miserly of the 2010s that the Lakers made their fans endure.
Once again, the hopes of a city rest in the hands of the Lakers’ President of Basketball Operations, Magic Johnson. And if we learned anything from his infamous baby hook, there are no better hands for them to be in.