Lakers’ James making recruiting pitches to Butler, others

LeBron James and the Lakers are looking for help in the form of an additional star for next season.

As LeBron James has done just about every offseason, it appears he has already started his recruiting efforts for the Los Angeles Lakers.

According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, James is ramping up some conversations with some of the league’s marquee free agents (via HoopsRumors).

“Appearing on Pardon the Interruption this afternoon, Windhorst said that from ‘what (he) understand(s),’ James has already made contact with both Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard about the possibility of playing in L.A. next season,” Clark Crum of Hoops Rumors wrote. “Interestingly, Leonard’s season is not yet over, but that doesn’t appear to concern James.”

Those around the league seem to believe the Lakers could miss out on the top free agents, with Butler, Leonard, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving all linked to other spots. Butler and Leonard, in particular, have been linked to the Clippers.

Plus, there’s always the strong possibility that each of those players could return to their current teams — Durant to the Golden State Warriors, Irving to the Boston Celtics, Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers and Leonard to the Toronto Raptors.

Of course, the Lakers also have every intention of again trying to trade for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis, all in an effort to land another veteran superstar to team alongside James. But just as all the general managers before him, Lakers GM Rob Pelinka is not alone.

He clearly already has LeBron in his corner.