The Los Angeles Lakers are dealing with a few issues on/off the court this season. One of the biggest is the trade rumors that have hovered over this team since last year. With the Lakers going in a new direction since Magic Johnson came onboard, the team has been in a downward spiral. While some will point the finger at Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, or Luke Walton, the truth is the front office is to blame. This much was brought out in a closed meeting between players, according to ESPN.
Once Kobe Bryant retired, the keys to the Lakers shifted to the young guns that included D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and Brandon Ingram. But somewhere between Mitch Kupchak being fired and Johnson moving in, things got lost in the shuffle. It no longer was about rebuilding, it became how fast can we get back to winning. I get it, this is the Los Angeles Lakers, home to 16 NBA championships and countless Hall of Fame players. But how did they get to this point?
Magic Johnson and new GM Rob Pelinka came in making bold moves. Their first was the trade of Russell for Brook Lopez and Kyle Kuzma. While Kuzma has been a breath of fresh air, adding Lopez has been nothing of the sort. Lopez has struggled since coming to Los Angeles and to make matters worse, he’s being paid $21 million to play this awful. Moving Russell was not about gaining Kuzma. The front office didn’t have a crystal ball and had no idea he would hit the NBA with such a force. The Russell trade was done for Lonzo Ball.
The Lakers figured adding a local kid to the roster would help the fans forget the few bad years they had at the end of Kobe’s career while hoping Ball would become the next Johnson. Well, that hasn’t happened, yet. Ball has struggled in his rookie season and their best rookie is one they didn’t draft themselves. Then you can look to the trade rumors surrounding the team. Randle and Clarkson were once hailed as the future and now they’re being thrown to the wolves.
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) December 29, 2017
Who told Johnson and the front office to sign Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to such a huge deal just to have Clarkson continuously outshine him on most nights? What about the position they have placed Walton in? In just his second year as coach, he lost his starting point guard, forced to deal with a struggling Ball and his father, and now, he has to find a rotation that best suits three players fighting for minutes at the same position with Randle, Kuzma, and Larry Nance Jr.
And, if that’s not enough for the team to handle, they have to constantly read or hear about LeBron James or Paul George coming to save the day in 2018. How can a young team with a still wet behind the ears coach find solace on the court while dealing with the mess the front office has placed them in?
Magic Johnson was a great player, but like Micheal Jordan before him, his front office skills are terrible.