With another losing season on the horizon, the Los Angeles Lakers are in a tough spot. They’ve missed the playoffs the past three years and are in serious danger of losing their top 3 protected pick this season. As most NBA execs put it, the Lakers are in “no man’s land.” They aren’t bad enough to have a realistic shot at keeping the pick, barring some Cavaliers level type luck, and aren’t good enough to make the playoffs and compete.
The Lakers have drastically improved over last season and have several players who could turn into high quality NBA players. As of now, though, none of the “Laker babies” have shown the same flashes of brilliance that Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Davis, and Kyrie Irving did when they first entered the league.
The Lakers could try to flip their assets for a superstar but there are major risks involved. Take the Pelicans as a key example. After seeing the potential of Anthony Davis, they tried to fast forward through the rebuilding process, flipping picks for Jrue Holiday and giving huge contracts to Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans. Fast forward a few years and the Pelicans are arguably in worse shape then they were before those moves.
The Lakers have difficult choices to make in the coming months, but keeping their young players together should be a priority. It may take some time, but Russell, Randle, Ingram, Clarkson and Nance could turn into a solid foundation for the Lakers to build upon. The Lakers need to give this young core another year to grow under Walton before they consider blowing everything up for a superstar. As seen from the Cavs and Warriors, it takes more than one “superstar” to win a Championship in today’s NBA.
Lakers Nation News
Lakers blow a 19-point lead and lose to the Heat, 115-107 – LA Times
Lakers rumors: Should the team pursue superstar? – Fox Sports
The NBA Hasn’t Come Easy To Brandon Ingram, But It Will – Sports Illustrated
Q&A: Lou Williams on the ‘one-and-done’ rule, playing alongside AI – ESPN
Lakers’ dilemma: Search for a superstar or keep it together? – ESPN
Report: NBA owners pass new labor deal, players next – NBA.com
Led by Rockets, N.B.A. Is Shooting Even More 3-Pointers – NY Times
NBA to Open Academy in Africa in 2017 – NBC News
Stephon Marbury Says NBA Wanted Him Out of the League After He Asked For Trade From Timberwolves – Complex
The Biggest Shot in NBA History – Wall Street Journal