With rumors of a possible LeBron James/Lakers marriage swirling, Los Angeles executive vice president Jim Buss confirmed to the Orange County Register that the team is planning a "big splash" in the 2014 free agent market.
Reporter Kevin Ding sat down with Buss for a one hour interview Wednesday and here's one of the more intriguing quotes he was able to pull from the outspoken Lakers exec:
"We purposely ended all contracts that year...I can't talk about Kobe (Bryant), but this is what he signed till. So basically we put everything to that, and we want to make a big splash in the free-agent market if we get to that spot. So we designed the contracts and the players and our future all around that."
Buss didn't give any specific names but a well-educated NBA fan is probably quite aware of the fact that James has the ability to opt out of his contract in both 2014 and 2015. With that in mind, it's easy to see why the Lakers feel James would be the perfect superstar replacement for Kobe Bryant, whose contract is set to expire before the 2014-2015 season.
Other possibilities from that free agent class include James' teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh along with Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, Paul Pierce and John Wall, among others.
Sure, Buss and other Laker fans might be looking a little too far ahead considering they already have a title-worthy team constructed in Los Angeles in 2012. But this could just be a ploy to make sure Dwight Howard stays on board as the team opens his eyes to all the crazy prospects beyond the Bryant era.