L.A's novel star player LeBron James apparently discussed a change in playing style with the Lakers ahead of him penning a four-year deal to play for the Western conference outfit from next season.
James, accustomed to doing just about everything in Cleveland, could play a different role for his new side when the 2018/19 campaign kicks off towards the end of the year.
Since signing the superstar forward, the Lakers also brought in Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee, and Rajon Rondo. These signings were made following the player giving the green light when presented with the proposals.
James is said to have spent three hours in a meeting with Lakers president Magic Johnson discussing various things, including a change in playing style as he looks to take on the mantle as a Los Angeles great.
According to sources cited by ESPN, the pair discussed having James take a step back from creative duties and surrounding him with tough-minded players such as Stephenson and Rondo who could take the burden of directing the offense off of his back while freeing him to finish in the lanes and in the post.
"Unlike most free agents changing teams, LeBron is arriving with the Lakers as an all-time great," a source close to LeBron was quoted as saying. "He doesn't have pressure to prove anything. He wants some changes, and he can afford to let the process breathe."
Stephenson and Rondo were also brought in on the notion of their length and versatility making them more effective on defensive switches. And with the talented, six-foot-six Lonzo Ball already in the mix, James could have the perfect cast around him, despite what people may think.
"I know some people are rolling their eyes, but I like what the Lakers have done," an unnamed Western Conference executive said. "You can find shooters. They've taken some in the last few drafts. Playmakers matter and are harder to find."
James is said to have studied other greats in Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, particularly the manner in which they changed their styles to suit post play during the latter years of their careers.
While the Lakers cannot refute the fact that there is a need for specialist shooting, as well as players who could solve their floor-spacing issues, they are making moves to suit their plan for next season. And, of course, there's still plenty of time to bring new faces in.