15 Potential Lakers free agent targets with ties to LeBron James

The Lakers may look at these potential reunions for LeBron James in free agency.
Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James
Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Lakers must improve their roster this summer after a disappointing first-round playoff exit. They won 47 regular season games and still wound up in the Play-In Tournament. LeBron James and the Lakers defeated the Pelicans to reach the playoffs, but the Nuggets dominated LA in five games. Changes will be made this offseason as the Lakers try to return to title contention.

LA must keep King James. He has a $51.4 million player option for next season. Most believe he wants to remain in Hollywood, and the Lakers would love to sign him to a max contract. LeBron has leverage and will use it to get the changes he desires.

The Lakers have just eight players under contract for the 2024-25 season. They are waiting on four-player option decisions and project to be near the second tax apron once their roster is sorted. LA needs some cheap signings to round out things out, and these free agents have ties to LeBron.

15. Tristan Thompson

The Cavs won just 19 games in the 2010-11 campaign after LeBron left for Miami. They had the second-worst record in the league but slipped to fourth in the lottery. Cleveland selected Thompson but would continue to struggle until LeBron’s return in 2014.

James and Thompson were teammates for four years on the Cavaliers. They won the franchise’s only championship and made the NBA Finals four times. The 6’9 big man started 65 of their 85 playoff games during that stretch and served as a key rebounder and paint presence.

Thompson played two more years in Cleveland after LeBron left for LA before bouncing around the league. He missed the entire 2022-23 regular season before signing with the Lakers for the playoffs. He only played in six games, but reuniting with King James opened the door for his return to Cleveland for the 2023-24 season.

Do not rule out James and Thompson playing together again. The 32-year-old big man is a free agent, and LeBron enjoys playing with him.