The Los Angeles Lakers are sending general manager Mitch Kupchak to Cleveland to meet with LeBron James' agent, Rich Paul, reports ESPN.com. This appears to signal the team throwing its hat into the ring as LeBron reportedly opens up his options as an unrestricted free agent.
While a return to the Miami Heat seemed inevitable for James just days ago, recent reports have surfaced indicating that he will entertain the idea of taking his talents elsewhere. The Cavaliers, Mavericks, Rockets and Suns have already been linked to the four-time MVP, and now Los Angeles wants into the mix.
The Lakers, like any other team, can't offer as much money as Miami, but it's become clear that winning is the singular priority for James. That explains the mutual interest from teams like Houston and Phoenix, which could be major contenders with the move, but the same may not apply to Los Angeles.
A healthy Kobe Bryant certainly gives Los Angeles one selling point, but at 35 years old and coming off multiple major surgeries, he's as big a question mark as anyone in the league. Even though there's more to the Lakers than partnering with Kobe, it would take some serious selling by Kupchak and company to get James to sign on.
LeBron could turn any team into a contender, though, and the Lakers offer some unique appeal given their history and geography. Most free agents can't turn down the chance to speak with the team, even if it's a long shot, and LeBron is no different.