Lakers Free Agency Misses Forcing LeBron James into Costly Decision

The Los Angeles Lakers have failed to make a splash in free agency so far, forcing LeBron James into a difficult financial decision.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

As the NBA free agency period officially kicked off on Sunday, Lakers fans were hoping for good news that signaled improvement to their roster. In the first 24 hours, however, they were disappointed as potential free-agent targets signed elsewhere.

One of the primary targets for the Lakers in free agency was iconic sharpshooter Klay Thompson. The All-Star shooter was hitting free agency after 13 seasons with the Golden State Warriors. Considering that he is a Los Angeles native and the fact that it was reported that LeBron James was willing to take a pay cut in order to sign him, the Lakers were a leading candidate.

On Monday afternoon, however, it was reported that the Dallas Mavericks were signing Klay Thompson.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, this means that LeBron is now unlikely to give the Lakers a discount on his new contract.

Lakers News: LeBron James Expected to Sign Max Contract

LeBron James is now presumably going to sign a three-year, maximum deal worth $162 million. That is his prerogative and he can sign the contract that the Lakers are willing to offer him.

This is another fumble by the front office during the LeBron era. You have your franchise star willing to take a pay cut if you can convince impact players to join, and you fail at that.

LeBron accepting the max offer isn't the end for the Lakers' offseason plans. They still have two first-round picks that they can trade, as well as young players like Dalton Knecht and Jalen Hood-Schifino while using the salaries of D'Angelo Russell, Gabe Vincent, Rui Hachimura, and Jarred Vanderbilt.

The Lakers can still engineer sign-and-trade scenarios for the available free agents, so there is still hope. But, losing Klay Thompson to another Western Conference contender will surely not sit right with fans and LeBron James.

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