Lakers’ Next Coach Must Be a LeBron James Magnet

Mike Brown is out for the Los Angeles Lakers, and it's time for someone that appeals to LeBron James to succeed him.

Whomever the Lakers decide is the man for Brown's old job must also be the man who can help lure The Chosen One to Tinseltown in 2014. That's the year LeBron is eligible to become a free agent. That's the year that Los Angles is already looking toward, already gearing up for. And that's the year Los Angeles hopes to stage a James-driven free-agency coup of its own.

Many scoffed at the notion. How could the Lakers, a team with a $100-million payroll this season afford to line the pockets of the greatest player in the game, let alone convince him to leave the comfort of Dwyane Wade's city?

It's a fair question, one that warrants plenty of investigation. However, the due diligence has already been done; the financial verdict has already been rendered; and courtesy of a slew of expiring contracts, the Lakers will have more than enough cash to sign James. And that's assuming that they retain Dwight Howard, as well.

No, the difficult part, the one that must be handled with the utmost of care, is the latter half of that quandary: How does Los Angeles convince James to spurn the Miami Heat the way he did the Cleveland Cavaliers?

Plenty of factors will come into play there. Supporting cast, for one, will be an issue. LeBron isn't about to abscond from a star-struck roster to play on a docket chock full of Metta World Peaces and Steve Blakes. That would be an even worse decision than the Decision itself.

For the Lakers, though, that is almost a non-issue. They have the ability to re-sign the NBA's best center after this season, at a higher rate than anyone else in the league can. And by 2014, Steve Nash will still be on the books for another year and Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant—free agents—will be free to re-sign at lower pay scales to chase more rings.

Los Angeles will also ...

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