LeBron James plans to help the Lakers recruit free agents.
Los Angeles will have max salary cap space in the offseason and multiple top-level players — including Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson — could be available.
James told Bleacher Report he “will be as active” as he needs to be to help the team improve.
That’s why I came here. I came here to win. And obviously, we need to get better, as far as our personnel. We have an opportunity to get better. And there’s a lot of talent out there, and a lot of guys that can help our franchise. So, I’ll be as active as I need to be for us to get better and go from there,” he said.
James signed a four-year, $153.3 million contract with Los Angeles in July and it began the season with a 20-14 record. But James missed the next 17 games after straining his groin Dec. 25 and the team never recovered.
The Lakers were officially eliminated from playoff contention in late March, which will snap James’ streak of eight consecutive finals appearances. He last missed the postseason in 2005.
James said he’s positive “the franchise will be great” in the near future.
“It (adding another star) is very critical to me and my future,” James told Bleacher Report. “”Obviously, the franchise is going to live forever. But for me personally, it’s very critical, because I want to compete, and I want to compete now.”
The Lakers shut down James last weekend to help him fully recover from the injury. He’ll finish his first season in Los Angeles averaging 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists in 55 appearances.
“Of course, I would love to still play, but I’ve always listened to the ones I trust, no matter if I always agreed with them or not,” James told The Athletic recently about being shut down. “They’re looking out for my best interest, and that’s the way it is.”
The Lakers will enter their matchup Thursday (Friday in Manila) against the Warriors with a 35-43 record. They have four regular-season games remaining.