Shortly after the Lakers signed LeBron James to a four-year max contract, the Lake Show made a few head-scratching moves: re-signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for $12 million, and adding polarizing locker room presences Lance Stephenson, Rajon Rondo, and JaVale McGee. But it appears LeBron had knowledge of the plan.
In a new look inside the Lakers' post-LeBron moves, Brian Windhorst of ESPN explains that LBJ and Magic Johnson met on the first night of free agency and reviewed the Lakers' plans. This wasn't some big surprise to King James.
Everything you thought you knew about the type of cast James preferred to play with — good shooters to stretch the floor around him, high basketball IQ veterans who could match wits with him — suddenly seemed off. Just what in the hell were the Lakers doing?
Here is the answer: exactly what James and Lakers president Magic Johnson planned when they met for more than three hours on the first night of free agency. According to multiple sources within the Lakers and close to James, this is the rollout of a plan Johnson outlined for James the night of June 30 at James' home. The signings, which sources say James has consulted on but have been executed at Johnson and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka's direction, follow this vision.
Granted, this doesn't mean LeBron was super enthusiastic about the moves. It just means he had been "consulted" on the plan.
A source close to LeBron told Windhorst: "Unlike most free agents changing teams, LeBron is arriving with the Lakers as an all-time great. He doesn't have pressure to prove anything. He wants some changes and he can afford to let the process breathe."
Per the report, the Lakers were looking for "tough-minded playmakers" like Rondo and Stephenson. It seems L.A. still lacks reliable shooting, but there's still plenty of time to refine the roster.