After starting the season off with a 10-10 record, the Los Angeles Lakers have followed their hot start with a 6-24 record. Their overall record is good for the 3rd worst record in the NBA. So what happened? Why did all our hope for the Lakers young core turn into skepticism?
At one point in the season many of us thought the Lakers looked like a formidable team. This was a team that looked to be further along than teams like the Sixers, Bucs, and Knicks, but they never really were. LA is in rebuild mode, and we let their 10-10 start confuse us, but how bright is their future?
With a young core of D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, and Jordan Clarkson the Lakers have assets. However, are the pieces they have enough to get the team relevant again? Honestly, I don’t believe so. Bottom line is they need more talent.
Russell and Randle have both looked like they are close to reaching capacity production wise. In the case of D’Angelo, they passed up on big men like Kristaps Porzingis and Myles Turner. Both look immensely more valuable than Russell. Even Devin Booker, who went 13th in the draft, looks more prized than Russell who went 3rd. Overall, D’Angelo Russell, who is shooting just under 40% on the year, looks to be too inconsistent to be a star anytime soon.
Randle is a different story. He is what he is. Not to say that he can’t improve, but Julius seems to have evened out, especially because his effort has been questioned multiple times. At his best, he can be a very effective third option on a good team.
Looking at their most valuable asset, with just over half of the season under way, it is still too early to judge the number two overall pick in last years’ draft. Brandon Ingram has been inconsistent and spotty, but that was expected. There is still huge potential there for Ingram to become a star in this league. Let’s all hope he figures out how to add some meat to his bones, and everything could just be fine.
With all that said, what do the Los Angeles Lakers need to do to become relevant again? Obviously the current roster has proved that, without miraculous development, they are not enough. This is especially true when compared to similar rebuilding teams like the Sixers and Bucs.
The strength of the current roster in Los Angeles is their youthful depth. Take advantage of that! Instead of hoping one of these inconsistent developmental players becomes a star, package a few of them for a proven star. Go make a trade that brings in a player that is worthy of the furthering the Lakers’ legacy.