Once Paul George re-signed with OKC and LeBron James inked a four-year $154 million deal with the Lakers, the speculation began about who Magic will bring in to play with Bron. Most assumed that the Kawhi Leonard trade was already solidified at least in principle when LeBron made his move to LA.
Signing Lance Stephenson is not going to be enough to challenge a loaded Golden State or Houston Rockets squad, but the former Pacer wont be around to be LeBrons pain in the ass nemesis anymore. Im sure LeBron will miss Lance Stephenson antagonizing him as he has in the playoffs over the years and blowing in his ear. Now “Born Ready” from Brooklyn New York will be the enforcer/antagonizer for LeBrons Lakers.
Bleacher Report on Twitter
This should be fun. https://t.co/YFGckHbCVy
Indiana declined Stephensons $4.4 million option in June and on Sunday the eight-year veteran agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. From 2014 to 17, the 27-year-old, 6-foot-6 230-pound shooting guard played for six different teams, before returning to Indiana and Larry Bird, his NBA lifeline.
SLAM Magazine on Twitter
The biggest news of the day: Lance Stephenson has agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million contract with the Lakers. We moving to LA.
Now, we have to wait for the pieces to shake out because LeBron didnt agree to come to LA to play with Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Lance Stephenson thats for sure. There are some more major moves in the works and some other free agents the Lakers may pursue.
Per The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, the Leonard trade will be a difficult one for the Lakers to pull of because multiple league sources have described the Lakers’ proposals for Leonard as “underwhelming.” One executive went so far as to describe them as “flat-out unacceptable.”
Also, there is plenty of competition for Leonard, with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reporting on June 28 that the Boston Celtics were among several teams talking to the Spurs and have “long had the assets” San Antonio covets. Leonard may want to go to LA, but the way he has strong-armed his way out of San Antonio, the Spurs have no obligation to support his wishes. Maybe Demarcus Cousins? There aren’t endless options in 2018. Leonard says he is prepared to sit out next season if the Spurs don’t get him to LA.
NBALakersNation on Twitter
REPORT: Kawhi Leonard willing to sit ou 18-19 season if spurs don’t trade him. Lakers told spurs they have until tomorrow to make a deal or else Lakers won’t be interested anymore (via @stephenasmith on ESPN)
One thing we have learned with LeBrons move to LA is that he is at a different place in his career. James who has built an empire off his brand will naturally be looking forward to learning under the business acumen of Magic Johnson and expanding his brand and business portfolio while in LA. Some even suggest that winning isnt his top priority anymore. That hes stopped trying to chase Kobe and Jordan on the ring meter and wants to enjoy his final years in Holywood, watching his sons play hoops, reflecting on his legacy and partaking in the extra perks that being in California offers.