The Lakers Still Suck
Magic Johnson of the LA Lakers promised a huge summer for the Lakers this year. He didn’t lie to us. The Lakers signed maybe the greatest player in NBA history, Lebron James. Also, Lakers fans were certain that Paul George was going to sign with them this offseason, but he decided to stay with his pal Russ in Oklahoma City. Then, to make up for the missing out of PG13, Magic Johnson signed Lance Stephenson, Javale McGee, and Rajon Rondo. Not ideal replacements for an all-NBA player like George. While the team will surely improve with the addition of Lebron, he’s basically playing in a similar situation he had in Cleveland. This team will more than likely make the playoffs, but in reality, they’re not a good team.
They Need Shooters
Lebron James is going to be getting ALL the defensive pressure on him, and he could use some shooters to dish it out to. Kentavious Caldwell Pope and Kyle Kuzma are decent three-point shooters, but they’re it. Ingram has the potential to hit threes, but last year he took less than 2 threes a game. Also, you’d figure after signing Lebron, they’d go after some shooters to go with him. Rondo, McGee, and Stephenson are all known to not be able to hit threes. Stephenson is streaky from three, but the other two absolutely suck from range. Of course, trading for Kawhi would invalidate any of these claims I’m making against the Lakers. He’s a top 5 talent in this league that can do everything. If they don’t get Kawhi or make other moves, shooting will be an unavoidable liability.
The Ball Family Drama
Lonzo’s presence brought drama and attention to the Lakers the instant he was drafted. This offseason Ball wrote a diss track against fellow teammate Kyle Kuzma which was not received well. On top of that, Lonzo’s dad Lavar creates even more annoying attention than his son. I’m making an educated guess when I say Lebron will not be a huge fan of all that shit. The Lakers best move is to try and move on from Lonzo. Conveniently, Lonzo got injured this summer making it near impossible to trade him. Magic Johnson should look to trade him the moment the season begins.
When the player a team adds becomes the team’s new best player, things change. The whole team is going to need to adjust their playstyle to Lebron’s liking. Also, this team has quite a few new pieces that have never played together. I can’t picture Javale, Lance Stephenson, and Rondo playing smoothly together on day 1. There is going to inevitably be a position battle between Lonzo and Rondo that could result in some pretty bad blood. After all, those two did get into a bit of on court beef last season. The young unproven egos mixed with the older players out of their prime egos might not end well.
How Will the Lakers Do?
All these issues I have laid out, will cause the Lakers some extra losses come next season. To begin the season, there will be some figuring out to do. They’ll need to decide what lineups work best. Deciding how deep into their bench they want to go on a nightly could lead to turbulence. After the rough patch period, the team should settle into being a middle of the road Western Conference team. If I’m going to give a way too early prediction for where they’ll end up, I’d give them the 5th or 6th seed. Lebron will be doing all he can and putting up stupid good number. After Lebron, you have inexperienced young players in a gawdy Western Conference. Just give it a year or two and Lebron will be leading these guys into the Finals. Or of course, they could get Kawhi Leonard and be instant contenders.
-Brandon Black (Follow @bhblack02)