The goal of the Los Angeles Lakers is always to win championships and with the duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the franchise believes they have the foundation to do so every year. Unfortunately, in each of the last two seasons, health has completely destroyed any championship hopes this team has had.
While health has been an issue this year as well, the Lakers’ issues in the eyes of most would stem deeper than that as the team simply doesn’t have championship-caliber roster. But in the eyes of LeBron himself, that is not the case.
James sat down with Michael Wilbon of ESPN and spoke about his belief that the Lakers, as currently constructed, can compete for a championship if they can stay healthy:
“I believe so. I believe so. Since we won the championship in 2020 health has been on the wrong side of our franchise. And I’m looking at the landscape of the league, we’ve got some good teams, some great players, guys are coming out and being amazing this year. But I also feel confident in our ballclub and our personnel that if we can be healthy and get enough games under our belt where we get some momentum and we get some chemistry and we know every single night we got this starting lineup, we have this rotation, we got guys that’s filling in. We know it’s gonna be nicks and bruises, guys gonna take games off here, games off there we understand that. But for the majority if we can be healthy going down the later stretch of the season we give ourselves a good chance.”
While most on the outside don’t believe it, the only thing that matters is what LeBron, Davis and everyone inside that locker room believe. And in fairness, the Lakers have shown that they can hang with the top teams in the NBA with wins over the top three seeds in the West as well as the Milwaukee Bucks. Not to mention very competitive and close losses to teams like the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers that should have been wins.
The issue with the Lakers has been consistency and playing at that high level every night. Regardless, it is great that LeBron has this level of belief in his team, but another move at the trade deadline would surely get the Lakers closer to that goal.
Lakers linked with OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet and Terry Rozier ahead of trade deadline
And to that point, the Lakers front office has been extremely active in discussions to try and make improvements to this roster with the trade deadline approaching.
In addition to discussions with the Utah Jazz on a deal involving Mike Conley, the Lakers have also been in talks with the Toronto Raptors about both wing OG Anunoby and guard Fred VanVleet. The front office has also had discussions with the Charlotte Hornets on guard Terry Rozier.
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