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NBAGround >> Lakers planning on making a run at LeBron in 2014


10/19/12 9:30 PM
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memory blues
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http://www.ocregister.com/sports/lakers-374987-buss-free.html

"We purposely ended all contracts that year," Buss said. "I can't talk about Kobe (Bryant), but this is what he signed till. So basically we put everything to that, and we want to make a big splash in the free-agent market if we get to that spot. So we designed the contracts and the players and our future all around that."

That makes for a completely viable scenario wherein Bryant retires in 2014 – and LeBron James signs a free-agent contract to replace him on the Lakers' marquee.

One day after I spoke with Buss (longer profile piece coming in the Sunday paper), Miami-based writer and longtime LeBron tracker Brian Windhorst coincidentally was also looking ahead and reporting: "Several teams' executives have told ESPN.com they believe the Lakers are positioning themselves to make a run at LeBron James in 2014, when the Miami Heat star can choose to become a free agent."

Buss specifically did not mention anyone by name and wouldn't be allowed to because of NBA tampering rules. Yet if Bryant steps aside, the Lakers envision having a re-signed Dwight Howard with Steve Nash in the final year of his new contract and some new, incredibly potent blood.

"Yeah, depending on the free agents that year," Buss said. "We would basically, money-wise, be able to sign the top free agent – maybe even two. I don't know the numbers exactly, because we're not privy to what the cap is and how much room we have, but it's going to be close to two of the top free agents that year."

It's not just all eggs in James' basket, as other stars such as James' Miami teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and New York's Carmelo Anthony could be free agents in 2014. Other big-name players who could be unsigned then (besides Bryant and Pau Gasol) are Dirk Nowitzki, Amar'e Stoudemire, Paul Pierce, Tim Duncan, John Wall, Danny Granger, Luol Deng, Rudy Gay, Andre Iguodala, Monta Ellis and Andrea Bargnani.
10/19/12 9:33 PM
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memory blues
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I personally don't think it's going to happen, I think LeBron was traumatized by the way he was treated after he went to Miami. But you never know..
10/19/12 9:33 PM
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memory blues
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I personally don't think it's going to happen, I think LeBron was traumatized by the way he was treated after he went to Miami. But you never know..
10/19/12 9:58 PM
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PoundforPound
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I like that LA is starting to think ahead for the post-Kobe era. But I'm sure we won't be the only suitors for Lebron's services.
10/21/12 1:22 AM
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quick
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There is no way Kobe is going to retire in 2014.
10/25/12 9:11 AM
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bryanand
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The time line is too far away, look at what happened to guys that rely on the physical dominance like Shaq, Amare, McGrady, Vince Carter, etc. Once these guys break down they are done. As skilled as Lebron is alot of his game is based on athletic ability and running the court, he is not Duncan or Kobe when it comes to skill level in the half cour...at least not right now.

10/28/12 1:24 PM
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HenryO
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bryanand - The time line is too far away, look at what happened to guys that rely on the physical dominance like Shaq, Amare, McGrady, Vince Carter, etc. Once these guys break down they are done. As skilled as Lebron is alot of his game is based on athletic ability and running the court, he is not Duncan or Kobe when it comes to skill level in the half cour...at least not right now.


The only player you posted there comparable to Lebron is Shaq and I dont see how a big man like Shaq starting to breakdown after 32 is going to happen to someone like Lebron. He hardly ever gets hurt, probably a good 7 years of prime Lebron left I would say

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