The Los Angeles Lakers have put all their eggs in the free agency basket, hoping to sign multiple stars this summer. One big name they have been linked to for months is LeBron James, still the best player in the world and a candidate to leave his incumbent team after having brought a championship to his home state.
But if James is to sign with a young team like the Lakers where – whether he’s better than them or not – he will have to play under the legacy of Kareem, Magic, and Kobe, he will need more help than the progression of Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball.
The Lakers are a hot destination for Paul George if the Thunder continue to struggle but he may not be the only notable player they now have a shot at. According to Mike Fisher of DallasBasketball.com, Mavericks’ center Nerlens Noel could be aiming to team up with James who shares a common agent:
Where is Noel going to have the surgery? In Cleveland, hometown of LeBron James and a headquarters for agent Rich Paul, who reps both LeBron and Noel and yeah, it’s kind of an open secret now that the fellas are plotting ways to end up together, maybe next July 1 via free agency to the Los Angeles Lakers.
This is the part where we tell you Fisher is not a very notable news breaker in the NBA world, although he does have access to the Mavs. In addition, the Lakers are always a hype-setter and click-getter so this stuff should always be taken with a grain of salt.
That all said, Noel could be a potentially huge get for the Lakers, with or without LeBron. He’s a young center who has shown elite skills defensively and can be an effective rim-runner and pick-and-roll partner offensively.
Noel has not played much this season after an unsuccessful contract negotiation with the Mavs over the summer. He’s going to be an unrestricted free agent and will almost certainly not be re-signing in Dallas. With few teams having cap space, the Lakers could not only be a top destination for him but they could also be able to sign him for a more affordable contract than the max deal he wants.
This is all really far away and things can change. But Noel’s situation in Dallas and his relationship with James is definitely something to keep an eye on. At the very least, it could offer the Lakers more options for a risky plan that they have invested heavily in.