The Los Angeles Lakers have lost some of their edge in attracting top level free agents, but that can surely shift back in the next few years.
Shaquille O'Neal famously signed with the Lakers in 1996.
"It came down to the aura of Los Angeles," said Magic executive Pat Williams, according to the book "The Show: The Inside Story of the Spectacular Los Angeles Lakers."
"They don't have the same pull, but they do have the city, weather and off-the-court appeal," one executive said. "Also, Kobe is only there for a short time, then you can be the face of the team."
Said another executive: "The Lakers will always be a huge draw. They will be fine regardless. While losing Howard was not planned, they will still be in on anyone."
And said another executive: "They just need one big guy to go there, and the rest will follow. I expect [Russell] Westbrook and [James] Harden to join forces there when they become free. It definitely still has allure. It's still L.A., and they are still the Lakers. No free agent can question whether or not they will spend the money to win titles."
Westbrook is not eligible to become a free agent until 2016, while Harden isn't a free agent until 2018.
Both Westbrook and Harden were born and raised in the Los Angeles area.