Lakers reveal $166.5M blueprint to acquire LeBron James as Damian Lillard joins forces with Giannis Antetokounmpo fifth ring

The long-running Damian Lillard trade fiasco is finally over. The Milwaukee Bucks acquired the former Trail Blazers star in a three-team deal with the Phoenix Suns. The blockbuster trade sent shockwaves through the basketball world. The addition of Dame Time immediately vaulted the Bucks to the top of the season standings. However, King James’ quest for a fifth ring may now be in jeopardy thanks to the emergence of a new superstar duo in Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo. But the genius of Rob Pelinka has devised a $166.5 million blueprint to help LeBron James add another trophy to his cabinet.

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Lakers may reduce LeBron’s minutes and workload

As more and more NBA teams underperform in order to acquire first-round picks, the league is forced to take strict measures. In an effort to address load management issues, the NBA issued a new rule prohibiting teams from keeping more than one “star” player on any given night. However, the new rule does not apply to certain players who are 35 or older by the time of the opener, have played at least 34,000 NBA regular season minutes, or have played in a total of 1,000 regular season and playoff games. Fortunately, LeBron James is one of seven players not affected by the new policy. The Los Angeles Lakers look to take advantage of this opportunity to their greatest advantage.


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James averaged 35.5 minutes per game last season, and his playing time increased to 38 minutes during the playoffs. LeBron turns 39 in December and would be wise to reduce his workload during the regular season so they can keep him healthy for the playoffs. “The Lakers plan to manage James’ minutes and offensive workload more than they have in years past, and (general manager Rob) Pelinka looks to the team’s depth as a way to do that,” The Athletic’s Jovan Buha reports. “(Darwin) Hamm said the team’s goal is to be more efficient through James’ ‘minutes per game, big picture, monthly, different parts of the calendar.'”

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Lakers front office makes smart moves to build a deep roster

With LeBron James announcing his 21st NBA season after a retirement scare, the Lakers front office must ensure they have a quality supporting staff. They kept their core intact by resigning Austin Reeves, D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura.


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They also added depth by acquiring Jaxson Hayes, Taurean Prince, Gabe Vincent, Cam Reddish and Christian Wood. Anthony Davis and Austin Reeves, in particular, are expected to ease the burden on James.


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The Lakers have one of the deepest rosters in the league and are expected to make a historic title run. This is not only LeBron’s fifth ring, but also the team’s 18th, putting them ahead of the competition.

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