Why Are the Lakers so Bad? Even With Lebron?
We all expected the Lakers to be one of the best teams in the Western Conference after LeBron joins. However, that didn’t happen as they did not even make it to the playoffs. The Lakers’ front office has made some terrible decision with some of their young stars that destroyed the bright future they once had. So, right now, I would like to talk about every mistake the Lakers made with their young stars after Dwight Howard left in 2013.
Kobe Bryant tore his Achilles in the playoffs and Kobe would spend the entire 13-14 season recovering. For some reason, before he played a single game coming off an Achilles tear, the lakers extended his contract with a 2 year 48.5 million dollars. What were they thinking? Offering a 35 year old with a torn Achilles that much money. This really hurts the team because it took opportunities from younger players and opportunities to sign other players. However, they did get lucky because they were so bad they ended up getting great picks for young stars.
Trading Young Stars
In 2015, the Lakers draft D'angelo Russell and stated that he would be a franchise player. They had a great young team with Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, D'angelo Russell, and Larry Nance Jr. They got Brandon Ingram the next year due to how bad they still were. However, they traded them all in 2017 and traded them to clear up cap space.
Lou Williams Trade
Another player the Lakers had was Lou Williams who has won 6th man of the year twice in a row. For some reason, they traded him for Corey Brewer. Yep, what a great trade! Lou Williams is a great player off the bench and would definitely be willing to stay for a long time. He is also not too concerned about getting a big contract as he just wants to stay in LA. Right when he got traded by the Lakers, he went around and signed with the Clippers and is probably going to be the 6th man of the year for the second year in a row. This is the first mistake they made.
The next mistake is when the Lakers traded away D’angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov for Brook Lopez and the 27th pick. They clearly gave up on Russell too soon and right when they traded him away, he became an all star who carried the Nets to the playoffs. They also wanted Lonzo Ball who is going to be part of the Anthony Davis trade. They also let Brook Lopez walk right after LeBron came. Yep, that was a bad decision but they got lucky and the 27th pick turned out to be Kyle Kuzma who can score and plays very well along LeBron.
Yes, Magic Johnson made a terrible decision trading D’angelo Russell away but drafting Lonzo was not his idea. According to many reports, Magic actually wanted to draft De’Aaron Fox but Jeanie Buss told him to draft Lonzo. Now for a team that wants to win now with LeBron, De’Aaron Fox would definitely be a better pick than Lonzo.
Who should the Lakers have taken?
Trading Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.
During the 2017-18 season, the Lakers traded away Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. for Isaiah Thomas whose contract expires at the end of the year, Channing Frye and a pick which ended up as Mortitz Wagner who is basically not doing anything to help the team. Jordan Clarkson soon became a great scorer off the bench while Nance continues to become a solid player.
Letting Julius Randle leave
To save salary cap space, the Lakers decided to not resign Julius Randle. They let him leave and he signed a 9 million dollar contract with the New Orleans Pelicans. They saved 9 million dollars and missed out a player who is scoring 21 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists. They basically got rid of 5 players and 4 of them instantly got better.
With all that cap space, the signed LeBron James, didn’t get Paul George and couldn’t trade for Kawhi Leonard. Believe it or not, the main issue right now for the Lakers is LeBron James. Even though he scored the most points, he is hurting their chemistry more than any other player. He came out and hurt his legacy more this year than any other year. He is always calling out his teammates saying how they are not dedicated to the team while LeBron stays up until midnight recording music with 2 chainz. Have you noticed, he almost never sits next to his teammates? He played little to no defense, turned on playoff mode and did nothing which makes it clear that he gave up on the team. This makes it clear that he is no longer the best player in the NBA. I think it’s safe to say that his game has finally slowed down. Even with LeBron, the record for LA is about the same as last year. So basically, LeBron has done NOTHING to help his team. Even though the Lakers have a lot of money, who wants to play with LeBron who gave up on his team?
The only bright side
The only bright side is the Anthony Davis trade. The New Orleans Pelicans trade Anthony Davis to the lakers for Josh Hart, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and 4 first round picks. Lets all hope LeBron and Anthony Davis works out because this is really LeBron’s last chance. He is 34 years old and his game is going to decline every year. So, if Anthony Davis and LeBron does not work out, we can see a dark few years for LeBron James and the lakers.