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Lakers expected to remake roster through free agents, not trades

The Los Angeles Lakers are in the midst of a franchise-altering makeover, and concerning a roster in dire need of retooling, it sounds like the team will rely upon being a big winner in free agency as opposed to making a blockbuster trade.

During an appearance this week on ESPN LA’s “The Sedano Show,” ESPN’s Dave McMenamin opined that the Lakers are leaning toward focusing their efforts on luring the likes of Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving or Kawhi Leonard to L.A., not orchestrating a trade.

“I’ve heard that some of the discussion that the coaching candidates have had with Lakers management has been (directed) more-so towards their plans for free agency this summer versus their plans to change their roster via trade,” McMenamin said, as transcribed by Silver Screen and Roll. “And so, if they’re not going to go for a roster-shaping trade this year and it’s gotta be through free agency… you either show up or you don’t. And if you don’t, the consequence is: It could create a really tough situation to live in if you’re LeBron James. So I think precarious is the best way to describe (the situation).”

The general consensus has long been that the Lakers would continue their aggressive pursuit of disgruntled New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis, but perhaps that is no longer the case. After all, the word was that the Pelicans had no inclination of dealing Davis to the Lakers ahead of the trade deadline and do not plan to do so this summer.

Further, it sounds like new Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin is not yet convinced Davis is as good as gone and will be dealt.

All that said, there is a belief that LeBron James, perhaps surprisingly, is viewed as a liability, not an asset, when it comes to the Lakers’ pursuit of top-tier free agents. Further, the belief that James’ trust in the Lakers recently “has been damaged” only reinforces how the organization must get this offseason right, regardless of its plan of attack.