LeBron James joined the Heat with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh already committed to Miami. LeBron returned to Cleveland with Kyrie Irving already on the roster and the Cavaliers holding a clear plan to add Kevin Love.
But LeBron committed to the Lakers for at least three years despite George agreeing to re-sign with the Thunder and the Spurs still holding Leonard.
When will the Lakers get LeBron a co-star?
LeBron is a Laker, and he is not pressuring L.A. to acquire a second star now, per sources familiar with his thinking. His decision to come alone for three guaranteed seasons speaks for itself. He knows Ingram has at least borderline All-Star potential, and that the 2019 free-agency class is loaded beyond Leonard. He has faith in the combined powers of his supernova talent and the Lakers brand.
I tend to think LeBron actually feels this way, but there’s plenty coming out of Los Angeles attributed to LeBron that maximizes the Lakers’ leverage in trade negotiations. This could be a ploy.
But even if LeBron feels this way now, I’m not sure how long it will last.
LeBron joined the Lakers for numerous reasons, including lifestyle and proximity to Hollywood. But he’s also deeply competitive, and even if he wants to take the long view, underwhelming on-court performance – look at this team! – could test his patience sooner than later.