Another roller coaster season for the Lakers has come to an end.
A solid start followed by a month of injuries in December which lead to a downward spiral of losses and frustration for the rest of the season. The Lakers front office doubled down on losing and keeping the top 3 protected pick, so they opted to trade fan favorite and scorer, Lou Williams.
Walton benched some vets as well hoping to rack up losses but the Lakers young guys surged at the end of the season possibly jeopardizing their chances at keeping the protected pick.
So what can we expect this summer? Most fans as well as the Lakers, are hoping to keep the top 3 pick and utilizing the options that come with it. Lonzo Ball seems like the likely pick and they can either keep and develop him or fast track the rebuild and package the pick for a superstar player in a blockbuster trade.
Rumors have swirled for the past few months about Paul George wanting to be a Laker and with one year left on his deal, Indiana may have to take the best offer given to them; likely the Lakers pick and a few pieces from their young core.
Is trading for a star the right choice? Will that make the impact fans are hoping for? Or does that guarantee the Lakers second round purgatory in the playoffs for the next three years? Maybe getting Paul George is the first domino to fall resulting in more all-star players to follow and come to the Lakers.
The other route is nightmarish for the Lakers. That would be to lose the pick. That is an immediate set back if the ping pong balls do not bounce their way on lottery night.
If that happens, chances of trades of big trades diminish as they’d be forced to trade off their young core; guys like D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram would most certainly have to be a part of the deals. Is giving up their young core worth it for a 6 or 7 seed playoff birth, especially when the Golden State Warriors are not going anywhere for a few years?
This summer is pivotal for the Lakers and their improvements, whether they would be immediate or in the years to come. The long play seems to be the most sensible.
The top tier teams in the league are not going anywhere for a few more years and one or two all-stars for the Lakers do not result in titles. If you are a fan of this team, pray or wish for the Lakers to win the draft lottery for the fourth consecutive year.