The Los Angeles Lakers are on the verge of finishing a first season with LeBron James but considering all that’s transpired, it feels much longer. The twists and turns have led to the same road as the past five years: the Lakers missing the playoffs yet again.
Although injuries have always been deemed an invalid reasoning for an end result, the Lakers certainly could prove to be the exception. Whether because of injury or illness, Lonzo Ball, Tyson Chandler, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson have all missed time.
While they were attempting to withstand the never-ending rash of injuries, the Lakers also dealt with every public Anthony Davis trade talks.
“You can point fingers at all the trade dialogue that was going,” Chandler said of the Lakers’ struggles this season. Though, he ultimately felt not being healthy was much more of a factor.
“I honestly think, yeah, that was a distraction. It’s always a distraction for every team at that time of the year. But for us, if we have a full cast, it’s not as big a distraction as it was. We got hit by the injury bug.”
Several players have touched on the impact, or lack thereof, trade rumors had this season. Fact of the matter was the discussions involved young players who had yet to experience that in their careers.
Kyle Kuzma initially dismissed trade rumors as being a distraction, but then acknowledged a sense of relief and calmness set in once the deadline passed.
Though reports indicated the Lakers seemingly offered their entire young core to the New Orleans Pelicans, owner Jeanie Buss recently refuted the notion.
With a rocky season nearly behind them, the Lakers will head into a summer that could bring about just as much speculation as it does clarity.