Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers might have been linked with a number of high-profile future free agents over the past few months, but it’s looking more and more likely that the franchise will look to the long-term when it comes to their upcoming recruitment policy. Rather than looking for the wow factor many are expecting, the Lakers are being tipped to instead focus on long-term potential. This news comes despite the fact that the likes of LeBron James, DeMarcus Cousins and Paul George have all being linked with the side in recent months.

It’s not just their flexibility in terms of finances that has led many to believe the Lakers will be making some big moves in the free agency. The fact that the franchise hasn’t reached the playoffs in four seasons, and won’t make the postseason this year despite their impressive recent run, the thinking had been that the Lakers will want to add some big-name players to their roster as a matter of urgency. While the Western Conference side will be chasing a couple of free agents, including at least one star player, it could be the 2019 market that the organization are focusing on.

Next year’s market could include names such as Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson and Jimmy Butler, and the Lakers may well feel there is much more bang for their buck in 2019. Rather than putting an expensive band aid over their current wound, the Lakers appear to be keen on building a sustainable future based on young players full of potential. Priced at around +17500 with the latest NBA betting to top the Western Conference this year, it’s clear that there is still a big gap between the Lakers and the league’s best teams, but that won’t always be the case and 2019 could be an exciting year for the franchise’s fans. 

When you look at how the Lakers have been performing since early January, winning 11 games out of their past 15 outings, it’s no secret that the organization have a number of very talented young players. Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart have all been key to the Lakers run of form, and when you throw the injured Lonzo Bell into the mix, there is the spine of a team that could go on to some special things over the next few years. The likes of Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson have also been crucial to this team’s winning run, and the duo may well prove very useful in future trade discussions with other teams in the league.