Lakers Rumors: Staff Cautioned About Tampering Ahead of Free Agency

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2018

EL SEGUNDO, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: The new Los Angeles Lakers Nike jersey with the sponsor logo 'Wish' on the left chest is seen during media day September 25, 2017, in El Segundo, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly doing their due diligence heading into the free-agency period of the NBA calendar.

According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson led an organizational meeting that co-owner Jeanie Buss called. The purpose of the meeting was to warn employees not to tamper before the free-agent signing period begins.

Shelburne noted employees were even warned of potential termination if they do not follow the league’s rules.

Shelburne explained the league punished the Lakers twice during the course of the last year for tampering, so the issue is on the forefront of the franchise's mind while teams can't negotiate with free agents until midnight on July 1.

Los Angeles figures to be a primary player in the free-agency market this offseason, considering the proud franchise with 16 championships hasn't been to the postseason since the 2012-13 campaign.

Players such as LeBron James—who owns multiple houses in the Los Angeles area—and Paul George—who is a Southern California native—are two difference-makers the Purple and Gold could look to target before the 2018-19 campaign.

They could also look to trade for Kawhi Leonard, especially since Shelburne and colleague Adrian Wojnarowski reported the San Antonio Spurs superstar prefers to be traded to the Lakers.

Even if the Lakers have big plans, though, they are clearly making an effort to ensure they aren't punished again by the league when it comes to pursuing some of the biggest talent in the game.

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