Despite adding superstar Lebron James to their team in their offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers have yet again missed the playoffs, ending with an overall underwhelming season.
When James signed with the Lakers over the offseason, hopes were high that this was the season in which the Lakers would return to “Showtime,” or at least have a successful season. However, the Lakers have recently been eliminated from the playoffs and are looking like the same sorry team they have been since the injury and departure of the legendary Kobe Bryant.
Some may say injuries are the reason for the Lakers’ poor performance, with James injured for 17 games, Lonzo Ball (the Lakers’ second-year point guard) out since January, Brandon Ingram (young small forward) sidelined with blood clots, and a plethora of other injuries that have derailed their season.
However, some also say that the Lakers’ player development and the incompetence of the front office were responsible. Former Laker D’Angelo Russell is having a breakout all-star season with the Brooklyn Nets after being traded to the team after his second year. He is currently leading the Nets into the playoffs as the sixth seed in the east. Former Laker Julius Randle is also having a career year after deciding to sign with the New Orleans Pelicans. Randle is averaging 21 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists. Both players are young and still promising, but were traded or were allowed to walk away with no pursuit from the front office.
Additionally, many argue that questionable trades and signings were made. Recently, the Lakers traded away young upstart center Ivica Zubac to the crosstown rival Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for veteran wing Mike Muscala. Since the trade, the Clippers have gone 17-4 while the Lakers have been the exact opposite at 4-17. This shows the incompetence of the Lakers’ front office to make smart moves to help the franchise win.
Overall, the Lakers have had another disappointing season. But there is still hope for the next year, with multiple free agents possibly coming to the lakers. Big names such as four-time all-star Anthony Davis and MVP finalist Kawhi Leonard are both rumored to sign with the Lakers in the offseason. While this season may have been a bust, the future’s still bright for the Lakers.