With the Los Angeles Lakers likely to be one of the most-watched teams on social media for high-stakes offseason decisions, Sports Illustrated breaks down what it will take for them to reclaim their title.
The “los angeles lakers” are in the midst of a high-stakes offseason. The Lakers have been struggling for years now, and they need to make some changes if they want to be successful. Here is a 3-Step Plan for the los angeles lakers‘ High-Stakes Offseason.
This season, just about everything that could have gone wrong for the Los Angeles Lakers did. They started the 2021-22 NBA season with a fresh dynamic as a result of Russell Westbrook’s summer acquisition, which did not age well.
With the ball in his hands, Westbrook was ineffectual. Injuries forced LeBron James and Anthony Davis to lose significant time. The Lakers also failed to qualify for the NBA Playoffs. In addition, following the regular season, head coach Frank Vogel was sacked. So, what’s next?
Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony, and LeBron James, all of the Los Angeles Lakers | Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images
The Lakers’ head-coaching vacancy just adds to the impression that there is no quick cure. They have three players on their payroll for a combined $129 million next season, no draft selections this year, and the possibility of losing one of their better players from this season, Malik Monk, to a free-agent payday.
The Lakers have no realistic chance of becoming a credible Western Conference contender next season. The goal for the next offseason should be to build a squad with potential and a rotation that has a realistic chance of making the playoffs. The Lakers have a three-step offseason strategy:
1. Trade for a second-round pick in the NBA Draft in 2022.
President Rob Pelinka must devise shrewd, cost-effective strategies to build a team with a maximum of eight players under contract for the next season. One option to do so is to get an early second-round selection in this year’s NBA Draft.
Some second-round picks have recently developed into high-quality and/or starting players. In 2018, second-round picks Jalen Brunson, Gary Trent Jr., Mitchell Robinson, and Devonte’ Graham were selected. Nic Claxton and Daniel Gafford emerged from the subsequent draft. This season, Ayo Dosunmu and Herbert Jones both established a niche on their respective squads.
Are the Lakers destined to succeed in the same way as the clubs who picked the aforementioned superstars did? Obviously not. Nonetheless, a number of anticipated top-20 choices are almost always relegated to the second round. In other words, the Lakers have the option of selecting the best player on the board, regardless of position, and developing him.
In terms of obtaining a selection, the Lakers may trade one of their 2023 second-round picks and one of their 2024 second-round picks to a club that doesn’t want to add another rookie to its roster. Second-round picks are similar to gift bags. They sound fantastic, but eventually, people will want to relocate them. The prospective receiver of the present bag then want to follow suit. The idea is that the Lakers have the ability to trade into the early 30s with relative ease.
2. Talen Horton-Tucker trade
Talen Horton-Tucker was perhaps the finest young player the Lakers had a year ago, which is why they signed him to a three-year, $30.8 million deal. However, Horton-performance Tucker’s this season was lackluster, and the Lakers would be wise to transfer him.
Regardless of whether Talen Horton-Tucker will be a part of the Lakers’ future moves or not, we should anticipate more from him as his game develops.
Is it better for him to continue learning from LeBron, or is he ready to lead a team? 👇 pic.twitter.com/p90mnDA0Zm
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) April 24, 2022
The Lakers’ stars were absent for long periods of time, as previously mentioned. Young players like Horton-Tucker were given opportunities as a result of this. He was, however, unable to capitalise on his performance in the 2020-21 season. If Horton-Tucker isn’t going to perform at a significant and effective level, the Lakers shouldn’t be paying him a $10 million average yearly contract.
All things considered, the Lakers should be able to entice clubs to enquire about acquiring the young winger in a trade. Why? Horton-Tucker, who is still just 21, has shown the ability to score off the dribble and generate his own shot. Perhaps another team will be able to take use of his abilities? For Horton-Tucker, LA should be able to receive a young player on a rookie contract as well as a second-rounder or maybe a future first-rounder on its own.
The Lakers’ body count remains intact, their salary is reduced, and they gain some — if little — draft capital as a result of this transaction.
3. In NBA free agency, look for youthful reclamation projects.
In a constant rotation position, Stanley Johnson, a former top-10 draft selection signed by the Lakers in the midst of the season, had his moments. With whatever financial flexibility they can gather, the Lakers should pursue comparable acquisitions, namely previous highly regarded draft selections in need of a second shot or a change of scenery.
For the Lakers, Kevin Knox, Moses Brown, Josh Okogie, and Frank Ntilikina meet the description. Knox has athleticism as well as the ability to shoot from the outside. Brown has a history of being an effective starting center. Okogie has the ability to completely fill the cup. Ntilikina is a capable goalkeeper. These aren’t exactly seductive signings. But they’re ones with a lot of potential and good health.
Last season, the Lakers were held down by the presence of 13 players aged 30 or older in games. They need youth because it is more likely to endure injuries and to provide genuine depth. Johnson added dimension to the mix. Monk enjoyed his greatest NBA season to date. Due to a knee injury, Kendrick Nunn was unable to participate, although he was an effective shooter and scorer for the Miami Heat.
Los Angeles will have to take a chance on the young players it signed last season. It’s also possible that they sign a handful of veterans to league minimum contracts to round out the rotation. It would be a benefit if the Lakers could avoid Westbrook’s $47 million payroll in 2022-23, but they must be focused on finishing the season younger and more successful.
Basketball-Reference provided all stats. Spotrac provided the contract numbers.
The “lakers profit 2020” is a three-step plan for the Los Angeles Lakers’ high-stakes offseason. The first step is to make sure that the team has enough money to build their roster, and the second step is to ensure that they have a good draft pick. The final step is to resign LeBron James in order to keep him happy and re-sign with the Lakers.
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