Some people think it’s time for the Los Angeles Lakers to start over and trade superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis since the team is having trouble.
Thanks to Russell Westbrook, the Lakers’ 0-3 start has come with a heavy dose of drama. The Lakers’ journey since winning the championship in Orlando in 2020 has not been easy. Los Angeles was eliminated from the playoffs in the first round two years ago, and they missed out on the postseason the previous year.
As James approaches his 38th birthday and the Lakers run short of money to assemble a strong roster around him, Vincent Goodwill sports analyst thinks it’s time to blow it up.
“I think they should just say, you know what? From an extreme case, trade AD, trade LeBron, trade Russ if you can. Start all over,” Goodwill said. “Because what you have is not sustainable, even in this season. By ‘sustainable’ I mean, even if you get Buddy Hield and Myles Turner that makes you, what, sixth seed in the Western Conference? That’s not Laker expectations. That’s not LeBron James expectations. There’s no path to get better. So why not just tear it down?”
Lakers Committed to Building Around James
James recently extended his contract with the Lakers for two more years; he cannot be traded until February 18.
Although Goodwill admitted to his colleague Dan Devine that such a move would be excessive, the Lakers are forced to deal with it as a result of the way their roster is set up. After reorganizing the roster, they are the league’s weakest shooting squad, and there are few opportunities for them to get better.
“It’s extremely extreme,” Devine said. “I can’t abide by this. I do believe, though, that you’re right in the idea of, like, you’ve got to burn every boat, every bridge you’ve got. You’ve got to burn every asset in the quiver to improve the team around LeBron and AD.
“Especially when you got rid of a championship-level defense around those two guys. You said, we’re going to build a different kind of team. But LeBron and AD are what count.”
The Lakers are willing to trade their two first-round picks for players they believe will help the team and James win another championship.
“Let me abundantly clear: We have one of the great players in LeBron James to ever play the game on our team. He committed to us with a long-term contract, a three-year contract,” Pelinka said. “So of course we will do everything we can, picks included, to make deals that give us a chance to help LeBron get to the end. He committed to our organization. That’s got to be a bilateral commitment, and it’s there.”
Lakers Exploring Westbrook Trades
Westbrook is becoming a bigger concern by the day, so it only seems a matter of time before the Lakers decide to trade him. Westbrook’s position was clearly communicated by head coach Darvin Ham when Westbrook was sidelined late against the Blazers.
“From Day 1, I said I’m going to do whatever I need to do to make us successful,” Darvin Ham said. “We don’t have time for feelings, for people to be in their feelings. We’re trying to turn this around.
While the Utah Jazz have also emerged as a potential trade partner for the Lakers, the Pacers have been frequently suggested as a possible home for Westbrook in return for Hield and Turner.
The Lakers don’t currently look to be in any immediate danger, and it was previously said that they would wait for about 20 games before making any moves.