Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss made the tough decision to fire her own brother and hand over control of basketball operations to Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka. She was rewarded for her decision when the Lakers signed LeBron James last offseason, adding to the team’s history of superstars.

Despite the signing of James, however, it was always known that the Lakers would need a second star to become true championship contenders this season. But the Lakers were unable to sign another star and while they were engaged in trade talks for Kawhi Leonard, refused to part with their young talent to acquire him.

Now more than halfway through the season, the Lakers don’t seem to be the favorite to sign any of this summer’s upcoming free agents. But Buss doesn’t regret not making a move for a second star, as she explained on “The Lowe Podcast”:

“I don’t think so, because I see progress. The team is 25-23 right now and the Western Conference is difficult. I would never think as being over .500, you would not be in the playoffs.”

There are multiple big names set to reach free agency this offseason such as Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, and the aforementioned Leonard, but none seem likely to join the Lakers.

Durant has called playing with LeBron ‘toxic,’ Thompson seems likely to remain in Golden State, and Irving demanded a trade to get away from James previously.

Meanwhile, the Lakers reportedly are a ‘distant third’ for Leonard, who could be headed to the Clippers if not re-signing with the Toronto Raptors.

Buss is correct in that the Lakers have seen progress despite the constant injuries the team has suffered throughout the season. By going through all of this, as well as a potential playoff run, the Lakers could look even more attractive to a future star, whoever that may be.

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