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Reports: Lakers appear to move on from LeBron for 2018 FA

385   //    06 Feb 2018, 22:08 IST

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What's the story?

On Tuesday morning, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne reported that there will be a major shift in the Los Angeles Lakers' focus when it comes to free agency in the offseason.

In case you didn't know...

The storied franchise of the Los Angeles Lakers hasn't made the playoffs since the 2012-13 NBA season. The franchise has 16 NBA Championships, with the last one coming in 2010.

The heart of the matter

Shelburne and Wojnarowski detailed the Lakers' change in strategy as, "recalibrating their focus" on landing a superstar in 2019 as opposed to this offseason. After assessing the franchise, the Lakers believed that the chances of landing a superstar this year are not as good.

It was widely believed that the Lakers were going to push hard for LeBron James, who will be a free agent this offseason. After the assessment, the Lakers have a more realistic view and realize that they should wait for a superstar in 2019's free agency class; which includes Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, and Jimmy Butler.

Originally the Lakers believed they could cut enough salary to land James and potentially DeMarcus Cousins or Paul George. Considering Cousins has a torn Achilles and George appears to be leaning towards returning to Oklahoma City, it made the Lakers revisit the plan.

What's next?

The Los Angeles Lakers (21-31) are currently sitting in 11th place in the Western Conference and are 6.5 games behind the 8th place New Orleans Pelicans. The Lakers will take on the Phoenix Suns (18-36) at home tonight.

Author's take

This is probably the best news that Cleveland Cavaliers fans could hear today. In my opinion, I thought LeBron was going to head for Los Angeles or Philadelphia, with staying home at Cleveland as a backup plan.

I'm not sure if there is a surprise team that LeBron is looking at in the back of his mind, but the chances of staying in Cleveland have increased. Management does have to still do a lot to get him to stay; while the chances of joining a lot of young superstars in Philly could be more enticing when you look at the struggles the Cavs have had this year.

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