According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, “whispers around the NBA suggest James would love to team up with (Russell Westbrook).” The team that quickly comes to mind as their possible destination next year is the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers can potentially take in two max contracts next summer.

Paul George has topped the list of potential candidates to join the Lakers next year for some time now. The LA native has a dream of playing for the Lakers. LeBron James has been strongly linked with a move to the Lakers as well during this off-season.

His free agency decision is already looming, and the Cleveland Cavaliers do not have many arguments that can convince him to stay.

Russell Westbrook has declined to sign an extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder, and next year he could choose to go back home to LA if the Westbrook-George experiment does not work. After all, LeBron could pair up with the current NBA MVP, and not Paul George, on the Lakers. It would make more sense for any team to prefer Westbrook over Paul George. However, would it truly make sense for the Lakers to want to add LeBron and Westbrook?

Lonzo is Lakers' future, not LeBron or Westbrook

The Lakers are going in a different direction, a direction that does not fall on LeBron or Westbrook's path.

Magic Johnson has handed the reins of the team to 19-year-old Lonzo Ball. Ball will lead a young team and attempt to make the Lakers exciting and relevant again. Bringing in two impatient stars who need the ball in their hands would simply hinder Ball's progress and render him ineffective on the floor.

Ball would not thrive off the ball, for he is usually not the best physical specimen nor the best shooter on the floor.

Lonzo takes advantage of his unique floor-vision and passing ability to keep the opponents on their toes and his teammates on alert. Consequently, his teammates become better players, or that is at least what it seems like. This why Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka drafted him. Ball was chosen to lead the Lakers for many years to come.

Westbrook is the most dominant force at the point guard position. While he did average a triple-double last season, his deficient supporting cast forced him to do most of the work. LeBron is also a point-forward of sorts. Any team he plays for ends up adopting the LeBron-system, which has James with the ball for the most part and ready shooters spreading the floor.

The Lakers have plenty of ball-handlers, namely Lonzo Ball, Jordan Clarkson, Brandon Ingram, and Julius Randle. LeBron and Westbrook could learn to share the ball and spotlight between them, but the rest of the team, the young talents, will not become better players whilst standing in the corner waiting for the ball to come their way and shoot it.

In addition, they are inexperienced and not ready to win right now, and LeBron and Westbrook are certainly not ready to throw their careers away and settle for being mentors.

LeBron and Kobe's shadow

James, who would be 33 years of age next summer, would be playing his last years in the league, and probably only a couple more at the highest level. The Lakers are distinguished for attracting the biggest stars in the league throughout their illustrious history. The latest one was five-time champion Kobe Bryant. LeBron, at this stage of his career, would be embarking on an impossible mission - filling Kobe's shoes.

Disappointment from Lakers fans, one way or another, is inevitable, even if LeBron were to bring a championship to LA.

That accomplishment would always be compared to what Kobe did, and LeBron would always lose that battle. James, with three NBA titles, is still chasing Kobe's five. And it does not look like he would have a better chance at beating the all-mighty Golden State Warriors with the Lakers. At least with the Cleveland Cavaliers he can continue to dominate a deficient Eastern Conference and try his luck again against the Warriors in the Finals.