Los Angeles Lakers Season Ends with Mixed Emotions
The Los Angeles Lakers had a season filled with both satisfaction and disappointment. They started the season poorly with a 2-10 record and were still in 11th place with 11 games remaining in the regular season. Despite this, they made a comeback and even managed to reach the conference finals. They beat some notable teams such as No. 2 Memphis and No. 6 Golden State, who were the champions from the previous season.
On the other hand, the expectations for the Lakers are high since they are a storied franchise with superstar players such as LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Hence, a championship title is the ultimate goal. In an interview, James expressed his discontentment with not being able to be a part of getting to the Finals.
If James returns to the team, the Lakers need to make extra efforts to improve and possibly come out as champions. They have a collection of free agents and players under contract for next season, but only a few are guaranteed contracts. Malik Beasley and Mo Bamba have non-guaranteed contracts, while Hachimura is an offseason priority.
During the trade deadline, Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka made some improvements to the team. He acquired Russell, Hachimura, Beasley, and Vanderbilt, who all played a role in helping the team to reach the conference finals. However, it was still not enough to beat the Nuggets, who outperformed the Lakers in the fourth quarter of every game. Russell, in particular, struggled offensively against the Nuggets, making it necessary for the Lakers to acquire another reliable scorer.
Pelinka will have money to spend on free agents and may participate in the trade market. Acquiring Kyrie Irving from Brooklyn seemed like a possibility before the trade deadline, but the Lakers didn’t want to trade all their assets to the Nets. However, Irving could still end up with the Lakers and would be an upgrade at the point guard spot. It would require some savvy wheeling and dealing and potential financial sacrifice from Irving, but it is not out of the question.
Overall, the potential for chaos might be worth the possible payoff for the Lakers in their quest for a championship title.