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Lakers GM Rob Pelinka says LeBron James is only guaranteed starter

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka held a press conference Wednesday and not surprisingly it revolved heavily around the celebrated acquisition of LeBron James.

Among the highlights of the presser was how Pelinka indicated to reporters that James is the only guaranteed starter on the entire roster.

Heading into the offseason, the Lakers’ roster, headlined by Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma, without question lacked experience. The acquisition of James initiated several moves in which the Lakers signed veterans Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson and JaVale McGee, something Pelinka mentioned during Wednesday’s presser.

That said, Pelinka indicated James is impressed with the Lakers’ stable of young talent, saying the superstar was “particularly excited about our young core.”

Pelinka hailed landing James as the “ultimate validation” of the work he, Magic Johnson and the Lakers front office have put in to turn around the proud franchise.

The Lakers general manager added it remains to be seen when the rest of the world will hear from the superstar in any official capacity as a Laker, saying, “That’ll be up to him and his management team.”

The case can be made it will be difficult for the Lakers to legitimately compete for a title in 2018-19 — something suggested by one outspoken NBA analyst. Pelinka noted the organization made decisions this summer that will allow for flexibility next offseason to further enhance the roster.

That said, Pelinka made it clear there is only one ultimate goal for a Lakers organization steeped in tradition and success, one that supersedes landing the best basketball player on the planet.

“We don’t celebrate signings… we celebrate championships,” Pelinka quipped.

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