Team LeBron All-Star
Members of Team LeBron watch play from the bench in the third quarter during the NBA All-Star game as part of the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend at Spectrum Center on February 17, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Some of the best players in the NBA will hit free agency in the 2019 offseason, and the Los Angeles Lakers will be interested in signing all of them. You can be sure that L.A. will try to sign Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving or Klay Thompson with their max salary slot.

The Lakers are desperate to pair another All-Star with LeBron James. Trying to trade for Anthony Davis didn’t work, and the latest rumors indicate that signing a superstar with their cap space won’t be so easy.

All of the top free-agents-to-be are favored to sign with a team other than the Lakers. Which available superstar does Los Angeles have the best shot at landing?

1) Kyrie Irving

If the Lakers are going to sign a star free agent this summer, it’s probably going to be Irving. The point guard has made it clear that it’s no sure thing he’s staying with the Boston Celtics, and an early playoff exit could mean he’s headed elsewhere.

There’s plenty of speculation that Irving might join Durant in New York, though that plan could fall apart if Durant spurns the Knicks. Irving knows he can win a championship with James, and the two former teammates seemed to repair their relationship earlier this season. If the Lakers can somehow find a way to trade for Anthony Davis—one of Irving’s good friends—it might put L.A. in the driver’s seat in their pursuit of Irving.

2) Kawhi Leonard

The odds are against Leonard re-signing with the Toronto Raptors. It might take a run to the 2019 NBA Finals in order for that to happen. If the two-time Defensive Player of the Year decides to play for his third team in as many years, it’s no secret that he’ll have his eyes on Los Angeles, where he is from and recently paid $13.3 million for a house.

There are rumors that Leonard isn’t interested in playing with James. The Los Angeles Clippers are reportedly very optimistic about their chances of signing Leonard. They have to be considered the favorite to sign the forward, but the Lakers will likely at least be in consideration.

3) Klay Thompson

If Thompson leaves the Golden State Warriors, it would probably be to join the Lakers. Thompson was born in Los Angeles and his father played for the Lakers. His ability to catch and shoot better than almost anyone in NBA history might make him the perfect sidekick to James. The problem is Thompson is almost certainly staying put with the Warriors.


Klay wants to stay in The Bay.

A post shared by espn (@espn) on

Golden State will likely offer him a five-year, max contract, guaranteeing him much more money than he can earn with a four-year, max deal from the Lakers. Thompson has been pretty public with his desire to remain with the Warriors. The shooting guard isn’t likely to leave Golden State to be a second or third option for a team that has a worse shot at winning a championship.

4) Kevin Durant

There was a report last summer that James reached out to Durant about the possibility of teaming up with the Lakers. Los Angeles’ dream scenario of acquiring the two best players in the NBA feels like a major long shot for a few reasons.

Durant’s own comments about the possibility of playing with James make it seem like the Lakers won’t be near the top of his list in free agency. In December, Durant told Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher that the hype around James creates a “toxic” environment, saying he understood why players wouldn’t want to be on the star’s team. Just about every NBA insider seems to think Durant is headed to the Knicks, where he hopes to bring New York a title like James did for Cleveland.