LeBron James Is Playing With The Los Angeles Lakers Next NBA Season

LeBron James and his transition to the West Coast presents a unique set of advantages and obstacles

After Hours with Amy Lawrence
October 30, 2018 - 11:30 am
LeBron James

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

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LeBron is taking his talents to Hollywood, and it has taken the entire NBA world by storm.

Now adding James to the mix, several people around the league are contemplating on how good the Los Angeles Lakers will be heading into next season. While many factors still need to play themselves out, it’s safe to assume the group will be a force to be reckoned with.

This is definitely the opinion of NBA.com writer Sam Smith, who sees the new-look Lakers to at least be challengers in the Western Conference.

“I think it’s going to be really competitive,” Smith said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I don’t think they’re a title contender, but there’s not that many alternatives. LeBron is 16 years in, so who knows how long he will go, but anytime you got LeBron on your team, you got a chance to win a title.”

James will be joining a team that includes a young nucleus of talent such as Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Brandon Ingram. Along with James, the Lakers signed both JaVale McGee and Lance Stephenson to one-year deals this past weekend, and due to combining these eccentric personalities, Smith believes this team will be quite the spectacle to follow.

“It’s going to be the must-watch of the season,” Smith said. “He’s got a really disparate, maybe dysfunctional group of players. You put Lance (Stephenson) in there, whose talented but is a little wacky. JaVale (McGee), whose a really nice but is a little scattered himself. I don’t know if they’ll try to trade (Lonzo) Ball and get him out of there because he doesn’t fit with LeBron. He’s a ball control guy, and LeBron’s got the ball now. It will be great for (Kyle) Kuzma. I think (Brandon) Ingram is the key and probably the best talent. They’ve got some good players. I think it’s going to be a tremendously compelling story for the whole season.”

James signing with the Lakers on a four-year deal has been viewed as a curious move for those around the league. According to Smith, it is apparent the four-time MVP is planning to be in Los Angeles for the long haul.

“I think it’s really going to be a different attitude for him,” Smith said. “He’s signed for four years. I think that has a lot to do with the family and his kids playing ball. I think he wants to get some stability for that. He really has always been great with that kind of stuff. Going to the Lakers with their history and tradition, he’s not going to want to be upstaged by all of the banners, so I see him really committing himself, especially at the beginning. He’s basically saying, ‘I’m putting down roots. I’m going to live here maybe for the rest of my life.’ I think he’s really going to be embraced now.”