Lakers Roster & Starting Lineup If LeBron James Goes to L.A.

As NBA free agency kicks off, rumors continue to swirl that LeBron James is targeting the Los Angeles Lakers. James has not publicly commented on what team he will sign with as his family and close advisers consider offers at his “decision cave” in the Caribbean. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported the Lakers have the “inside track” to sign James.

Let’s take a look at what the Lakers roster and starting lineup would look like if James signed with the Lakers. This lineup is based on just James signing with the Lakers, and not some of the other rumors that are circulating. Keep in mind, the Lakers will also be able to add some veterans willing to sign for the minimum if James end up in Los Angeles.


Lakers Roster & Starting Lineup with LeBron James for 2018-19

C- Kyle Kuzma, Mo Wagner, Thomas Bryant, Ivica Zubac
PF- Julius Randle (RFA), Isaac Bonga
SF- Brandon Ingram, Luol Deng, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
SG- LeBron James, Josh Hart
PG- Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso

Lakers free agents: Brook Lopez (UFA), Channing Frye (UFA), Travis Wear (RFA), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (UFA), Andre Ingram (RFA), Gary Payton II (RFA), Isaiah Thomas (UFA)


The Lakers could take a conservative approach by signing James, and retaining Julius Randle, who is a restricted free agent. There are conflicting reports on whether James wants to wait to see what kind of roster the Lakers could construct before he would sign. Sporting News’ Sean Deveney reported James is willing to sign with the Lakers without a fully-constructed roster.

“That’s the sense you get with him and his people,” an anonymous GM told Sporting News. “They’re doing enough research to suggest that he’s going to be willing to take that plunge and let the roster come together. It’s what happened in Cleveland four years ago.”

Paul George and the Lakers have been linked since last summer. The Lakers are just short of having the cap space to be able to sign two max free agents outright, but it is feasible they will figure out a way to make it happen if both players want to be in L.A. Here’s a look at what a potential roster and starting lineup would look like with both George and James.


Lakers Roster & Starting Lineup with LeBron James & Paul George for 2018-19

C- Kyle Kuzma, Mo Wagner, Thomas Bryant, Ivica Zubac
PF- Brandon Ingram, Isaac Bonga
SF- LeBron James, Luol Deng, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
SG- Paul George, Josh Hart
PG- Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso

Lakers free agents: Brook Lopez (UFA), Channing Frye (UFA), Travis Wear (RFA), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (UFA), Andre Ingram (RFA), Gary Payton II (RFA), Isaiah Thomas (UFA)


As you can see, the positional fits are a bit of a stretch, but the Lakers have to find a way to get their five best players on the floor at the same time. James could spend time at power forward as Ingram is not a natural fit at the position. George is more of a natural small forward, but can slide over to shooting guard, if necessary. Hoops Hype reported several notable veterans have said privately they would be willing to play with James for the minimum. Hoops Hype described some of the issues Los Angeles needs to address if James signs with the team.

In addition to finding a reserve point guard, the Lakers will need to bring in other big men besides Thomas Bryant and Ivica Zubac to strengthen their frontcourt.

They’d also need scoring off the bench, and there are several free agents who would jump at an opportunity to have this kind of prominent role on a team like the Lakers.

Yahoo’s Shams Charania reported Lonzo Ball has a torn meniscus, but is expected to be ready for training camp.

Source: Heavy Sports