Although the Los Angeles Lakers only won a championship a little over two weeks ago, Rob Pelinka and the front office will have to quickly pivot towards offseason duties as reports are increasingly alluding to a December 22nd start date for next season. The Lakers will hold the 28th overall pick in the NBA Draft on November 18th, with 2020 NBA Free Agency set to begin at some point in the weeks following the draft.
Pelinka will obviously be looking to complete one major goal, which is re-signing Anthony Davis once he opts out of his contract. All signs indicate that Davis will at least sign to one more year with the Lakers, with the high probability of a long-term contract to follow in a year or two (Davis would make more money in different scenarios if he waits to sign a four-to-five year contract in a soon future offseason). Rob Pelinka appeared on Adrian Wojnarowski’s podcast recently, and discussed how he will try to retain players for another championship run next year. He also discussed the potential of the Lakers adding a young superstar in the future to pair with Davis if LeBron James leaves (or if he stays even).
“We do want to do a couple things. We hope that we can have another championship run next year, for sure, and we’re going to work hard to try to keep the pieces around LeBron and AD, build pieces around LeBron and AD to do that. But also, with the future, again, if you study our cap (space) we have the flexibility to say, “Can we add another really, really talented young player to run it out with AD if he chooses to stay as a free agent for five, six, seven, eight years?””
LeBron James not being around as a Laker would present the most realistic scenario in the Lakers (although the Lakers did almost team up Kawhi Leonard with our two superstars before he chose the Clippers). He’s under contract for the 2020-21 season, but has a player option for the 2021-22 season. If he doesn’t opt-out, he would be an unrestricted free agent in the 2022 offseason. The 2021 slate of potential free agents is ABSURD, including players like Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Chris Paul, and — of course — LeBron James. Those players aren’t necessarily young, but Giannis Antetokounmpo and Victor Oladipo are. Both would be great additions for the Lakers, with the combination of Giannis and Davis almost assuredly putting the Lakers in a position to win multiple championships over multiple years.
We’ll just have to see what Pelinka can put together in the future.