LeBron James cautious about going to Lakers as lone free agent

Betting world going crazy for LeBron-Kawhi Lakers union

Modal Trigger Kawhi Leonard and Le Bron James Getty Images

The Lakers' past trades finally caught up to the team and the pick protection was finally gone as the Philadelphia 76ers sit pretty with the 10th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Josh Hart and Kyle Kuzma weren't in the war room Thursday night when the Lakers selected Moe Wagner with the No. 25 pick, but their influence was felt.

It is still quite early in the decision-making process, but the first marker in this entire situation will be whether he picks up the player option in the second year of his deal for the 2018-19 season. Now owning the 25th pick overall, along with the 47th, the signature franchise in Los Angeles is in a good position to either stand pat at 25, or even move up and get a guy it really wants. Pelinka, who played for Michigan from 1988 to 1993, joked that he "will forever be accused of having a Michigan Wolverine bias", before citing Wagner's underrated abilities as a passer and screener.

Regardless of how the Lakers roster looks next season, the franchise is happy with Wagner.

"We continue to have good dialogue with his management team", Altman said.

In addition to the big names, a few key role players could alter the plans of certain teams if they choose to join or reject them.

The Lakers probably didn't find a potential All-Star in the group but there are reasons to be optimistic about the new additions, who are considered among the smartest group of players in the class.

Los Angeles has been looking for that star power since Kobe Bryant retired two seasons ago. "We're building a culture here, and he brings a lot to the table as far as the passion he plays with, his unselfish nature, the way that he sprints the floor". "This is a question where I can't win".

"They obviously are a flashy franchise, they like to play fast", Wagner said.

The Lakers don't want to get into any trouble during this year's free agency period.

With Julius Randle about to hit restricted free agency, the Lakers' selection of Wagner gives them some depth inside. After taking Randle with the seventh overall pick in 2014 and D'Angelo Russell (2015), Brandon Ingram (2016) and Lonzo Ball (2017) with the second overall picks in the past three drafts, the Lakers had to wait until near the end of the first round to pick this year.

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