The Lakers obvious had high expectations coming into the season with a star-studded roster that also instantly showed their ages. Westbrook has not lived up to expectations, and actually has gotten worse as the season’s progressed.
Outside of LeBron’s beatdown of Father Time, the development of Malik Monk (12.7 points per game) has been a bright spot.
Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook shoots 5-17 from the field. pic.twitter.com/Hg4qdVdA4j
— The Shadow League (@ShadowLeague) March 2, 2022
But LeBron and Monk alone cannot save this team, and the lack of help is definitely being exposed, as the Lakers are not even considered a playoff contender anymore. Plus there are many concerns for this team moving forward long-term, such as Davis’ health, as he has been injured plenty of times since he and agent Rich Paul forced their way out of New Orleans.
Lebron is not only 37, but he has already stated that he plans on playing on whatever team his son Bronny James gets drafted to in a few years, so unless the Lakers can draft him (which is highly unlikely), Lebron will not be a Laker in a few years.
Given LeBron’s future, and the Lakers’ current abysmal season, many believe it’s time for the Lakers to cut their losses and salvage their franchise’s future by trading LeBron and Anthony Davis.
Jeanie Buss is fed up
(h/t @CantBeatAudel )
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) February 28, 2022
The move to acquire LeBron and AD a few years ago, placed the Lakers in a win-now situation, but they currently are not winning anything, the team is breaking down and time is of the essence. This is not the future the Lakers envisioned, and many believe it’s time to move on.
That way, maybe you can get a king’s ransom in return for LeBron and Davis before something irreversible happens, like a horrible long-term injury to Davis, or LeBron mails in his last year. It’s a long shot and very complicated, but the idea isn’t coming out of the blue.
Reports say Jeanie Buss has been giving LeBron pushbacks with certain personnel moves he wants to make which might mortgage the Lakers’ future, and that has fractured the relationship.
Per Bill Simmons, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss reportedly “stood up” to LeBron in a recent sit-down meeting after All-Star weekend.
“Jeanie Buss is a tough lady, man. … She’s been in the league since the early ’80s, and I think at some point she stood up to those guys and was like, ‘No, stop. You don’t get to undermine all this. Stop,’” Simmons explained, as transcribed by Clutch Points.
Bron has said he wants to finish his career in L.A., but things change quickly when it comes to Bron positioning himself to win rings.
On his own podcast, earlier this week, ESPN reporter Brian Windhorst relayed the message that one NBA insider says that people around the NBA feel like the Lakers should trade Lebron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers’ two franchise stars.
“The Los Angeles Lakers might have to trade for LeBron James this summer. James has rather clearly been offended by Lakers’ management twice over the past two weeks.”
– ESPN’s Brian Windhorst pic.twitter.com/PsrFSYDbQr
— Lakers Daily (@LakersDailyCom) February 23, 2022
Why Trade Your Championship Tandem?
Now, why would anyone in their right mind trade Anthony Davis and LeBron James? Well, if you’ve been keeping up with basketball at all you’d know that the Lakers are in the headlines every day, but for the wrong reasons.
The Lakers are currently 27-34 as of Wednesday, and 4.5 games back from the eighth seed. Right now they are looking at the play-in game as their only hope of making the playoffs. But even then the Lakers aren’t a real competitor for the championship. They are 3-7 in their last 10 games and are on a three-game losing streak that started before the All-Star break.
Lebron is having another MVP-caliber season, averaging 29 points per game — enough to rank him third in the league in scoring — eight rebounds per game, and 6.3 assists per game, which is top 20 in the NBA.
He’s giving everything he has at 37 years old, and the plan going into the season was not for him to carry such a heavy load that he would be top three in scoring. The plan was for Anthony Davis, who is at his peak, to be the offensive juggernaut for the Lakers while LeBron serves as more of a second offensive option and facilitator.
But with Davis’ constant injuries (he’s dealing with a mid-foot sprain right now), the Lakers need LeBron to step up and carry the load, which he has miraculously done with little to no help from his supporting cast.
Awwww 💩 Y’all got Bron taking charges 🤣🤣🤣 I see u @KingJames
— kuz (@kylekuzma) March 2, 2022
Despite the pessimism, the Lakers’ season still has a pulse, especially as far as LeBron James is concerned. He let us know that he’s got to be buried before he gives up.
Maybe with a little LeBron magic, they can maneuver their way through a playoff run. But for all that, it is far beneath the Lakers’ expectations, as they hold their franchise to the highest standard in basketball, and if they want to meet that standard after LeBron is gone they need to start acquiring young, future assets now.
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