Charlotte Hornets star Kemba Walker is among the players that the Los Angeles Lakers have a good chance of landing next summer. While Kemba has been frequently mentioned in NBA trade rumors, he will also be mentioned as one of the key free agents after this season ends. Even if Kemba Walker, who has been linked to the Magic, is traded by his longtime team in Charlotte, there's a strong possibility he will wind up with more of a contending team. That could be the L.A. Lakers, who now have LeBron James. A few other players' names have also popped up as strong candidates for Los Angeles next summer.

Aldrige discusses Lakers' outlook

NBA insider David Aldridge recently answered some questions in an mailbag column. The longtime sideline reporter and insider fielded one fan's question that asked what Aldridge thought about the moves the Lakers have made since acquiring LeBron James. The fan said that some people may feel those moves made sense and asked Aldridge if he felt the Lakers are trying to build a "win now squad" or develop the younger talents while LeBron is there.

Aldridge told the fan that he feels now that LeBron James is part of the Lakers' roster, the team is "all but assured" to get at least one of the major All-Star free agents next summer.

Aldridge mentioned the Charlotte Hornets' Kemba Walker and San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard who both have been frequently mentioned in NBA trade rumors for the Lakers. In addition, Aldridge mentioned Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson, who may opt to leave the dynasty for a better payday.

Basically, the plan for Los Angeles is to sit tight with the roster they've constructed for now.

It gives LeBron a mix of young emerging talent and experienced veteran role players. It may be just enough to get this team a decent spot in the top eight in the Western Conference playoff standings.

Summer 2019 free agency

It's not inconceivable to think that the Lakers could possibly get two of those three stars next summer.

They would probably need to make some other moves, but adding Kemba and Klay or Kemba and Kawhi could really boost this team into a top contender in the Western Conference. All three are All-Star talents with different skill sets. Kawhi is clearly the best of the three, but Klay Thompson's shooting has been a difference maker more than a few times for those Warriors' championship runs.

All three of these players have been linked to the Philadelphia 76ers in NBA rumors as well. Philly is another team that basically made no significant moves this offseason and stayed with their core. There's also Houston and Boston to consider, depending on what moves they make. It could very well become a two or three team race next summer to add one of these talents to the roster.

Los Angeles fans expecting a championship in the first season with LeBron may be in for a shocker. The team isn't quite ready to contend with the likes of Golden State and Houston. James showed his abilities with the Cavs in the 2018 NBA Finals, trying to will a subpar team to a Game 1 victory. It nearly worked. James may shock people or exceed some expectations, but at least another star or two will be needed.

After seeing only a few major moves by top NBA stars this summer, it should be interesting to see if more shifting of players happens in 2019. Quite possibly, Kemba Walker, Kawhi Leonard, and Klay Thompson will all have new teams for the 2019-20 NBA season.