With just hours to go until the 2018 NBA free agency period officially begins, the Lakers might have another all-star target this summer.
The Lakers have an easy pathway to afford two max contract players this summer which would springboard the team into win-now mode. They will be looking to bring in one of the best players of all-time in LeBron James, and it’s looking likely that he could be in a Lakers jersey come opening night.
They have also been in discussions with the San Antonio Spurs about a possible trade for disgruntled star Kawhi Leonard.
However, after those names, the market is a little murky for the Lakers as it seems that Paul George is leaning towards staying in Oklahoma City with the Thunder. But the team could have a big man on their radar to try and pair with James and/or Leonard.
According to Kevin O’ Connor from The Ringer, the Lakers might take a look at DeMarcus Cousins of the New Orleans Pelicans.
DeMarcus Cousins sounds like an increasingly likely target for the Lakers on a short-term max contract now that it appears Los Angeles will lose out on Paul George, per league sources. In January 2017, LeBron James called Cousins "the best big man in our game."
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) July 1, 2018
Cousins is a four-time all-star and one of the best centers in the league. However, he is coming off of a ruptured achilles tendon and will likely miss a chunk of the 2018-2019 season. When healthy, the 27-year-old is a dominant force and has expanded his game both as a passer and a shooter in recent years, but obviously, his injury is a massive concern.
If the Lakers do land James in free agency, it will be worth monitoring how they fill the roster out around him and if they do end up taking a flier on a short-term deal with Cousins.
The Lakers have been involved in rumors galore for the last year or so and when the clock strikes midnight the team will begin to have some answers to which direction they are headed.