The outcome of the 2018-19 NBA season proves that having the best basketball player on the planet, LeBron James, is not enough for the Los Angeles Lakers to make huge noise in the deep Western Conference. Despite James’ incredible statistics, the Lakers have failed to consistently win games and as of now, they are already removed from the playoff race, sitting in the No. 11 spot in the Western Conference with a 31-39 record.
When the 2018-19 NBA season is over, Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka are expected to become more aggressive in chasing another superstar who could play alongside LeBron James. With their inability to end their playoff drought, most people believe that the Lakers will have a hard time convincing top free agents to sign with them in the summer of 2019. However, according to SB Nation’s Silver Screen And Roll, James is very confident that the Lakers will get better “from a personnel standpoint” next July.
“Listen, at the end of the day this franchise wants to win and wants to win big. And one thing about this franchise is they cater to the players. That’s it. Everything else comes secondary. They only want us to go out and perform at a high level and play the game at a high level so that we can be mentioned with some of the great teams that’s in the league at that point in time. So like I’ve said there’s a lot of great free agents this summer.”
Maybe the Los Angeles Lakers were never going to win a championship this season, even with LeBron James, but they were not supposed to be this bad. Here’s a breakdown of how things fell apart — in 6 stages. https://t.co/6zeHhVitfy— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 17, 2019
In the past month, several incoming free agent superstars have already been linked to the Lakers, including Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, DeMarcus Cousins, and DeAndre Jordan. Acquiring at least one of those players will undeniably make the Lakers a more competitive team in the 2019-20 NBA season.
Aside from the 2019 NBA free agency, the Lakers also have the capability to improve their current roster via trade. Despite having a strong competition from NBA teams like the Boston Celtics, the Lakers are still expected to resume their trade negotiation with the Pelicans involving Anthony Davis.
In order to have a strong chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and winning an NBA championship title, the Lakers obviously need to pair LeBron James with at least two NBA superstars. The 2019 NBA offseason will determine if the Lakers will finally return to title contention or remain as one of the most disappointing teams in the league.