Lakers Notes: LeBron James, Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell, Draft

The idea that Lakers star forward LeBron James could retire was expected to be a hot topic, but it seems few believe he will.LeBron James

We relayed as much in a video provided to Hoops Wire that featured James’ former high school teammates at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, which you can view here. Also, those around the NBA seem to think James will indeed be back next season, his 21st overall.

“I haven’t spoken to anyone who thinks LeBron James is retiring,” wrote Dan Woike of the LA Times. “The biggest reasons given to me for his comments after Game 4: fatigue from the season, frustration with getting swept and a reminder to the front office that the Lakers’ title window is closing, keeping a sense of urgency in the foreground.”

  • The Lakers are prioritizing keeping guard Austin Reaves and forward Rui Hachimura this summer, per Woike. Both players are entering the summer as restricted free agents. But LA is expected to match any opposing offers.
  • Wrote Woike: “The Lakers’ open stance about matching offers for the two could end up saving the team money, particularly with Reaves. After a terrific postseason debut, teams with cap space don’t have much optimism they’ll be able to pry him free, which means the Lakers’ four-year, $52 million-ish max offer might be the most he gets.”
  • As we relayed here, things are fairly less certain involving the return of guard D’Angelo Russell. As Wokie wrote, the Lakers are expected to look for an upgrade at that spot. They are already being linked to the likes of Mavericks point guard Kyrie Irving and Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet.
  • The Lakers own the No. 17 overall pick in the draft. Hoops Wire has them selecting Ohio State small forward Brice Sensabaugh in our latest mock. Among the list of notable players selected at 17, per Woike: Shawn Kemp, Jrue Holiday and Jermaine O’Neal.

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