The Los Angeles Lakers will enter the All-Star break looking for reasons why their season has not gone as planned. This was the year where it all was supposed to come together. Gone was D’Angelo Russell, Nick Young, Mitch Kupchak, and Timofey Mozgov. In their place was a young core and new front office personnel set to make changes. However, nothing ever goes as planned in the NBA and the Lakers will enter the All-Star break looking for answers. Here are three regrets the Lakers have so far this season.
What Did Trading D’Angelo Russell To Draft Lonzo Ball Accomplish?
No one can see the future, but the Lakers must be wondering to themselves how they let this happen. Russell was set to become the new face of the franchise after the retirement of Kobe Bryant. However, for some reason, Rob Pelinka thought otherwise. Maybe it was the way Lonzo Ball reminded everyone of a young Magic Johnson or maybe it was due to the tension Russell created with Nick Young. Whatever the case was, the Lakers rid themselves of Russell, and now they’re watching their prized pick struggle with his inconsistent play. Russell averaged 15.6 points, 4.8 assists and shot 40 percent from the floor for the Lakers in 2016. Ball, in his rookie year, has averaged 10.2 points and 7.1 assists while shooting 35 percent from the floor.
Why Didn’t The Lakers Trade Brook Lopez?
There had to be a team out there willing to take Lopez off their hands. With the deadline gone, the Lakers are stuck with a struggling center who has misplaced his offensive game. With Lopez’s deal and struggles, he was a prime candidate to be traded for at least a first-round pick. Now the Lakers will either watch him walk out the door for nothing, be forced to resign Lopez, or offer a buyout according to Chat Sports. This is by far the worse season of his career with career lows in scoring (11.8), second-lowest in rebounding (3.8) and lowest in shooting (43 percent).
Why Did The Lakers Let Jordan Clarkson Go?
The Lakers may think they solved a severe cap problem heading into the offseason but what they did was cripple their team. Trading away a young scorer like Clarkson for Isaiah Thomas will hurt them in the long run. Clarkson is young (25), one of their best defenders, and leading scorers. To trade him away when Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is making $17 million and with no apparent indication he will resign was a risky move. Clarkson, on the books until 2020, gave the Lakers a reliable weapon. With Clarkson gone, they will have to search for free agents or pray they get lucky in the draft. At the end of this deal, the Lakers could be left with nothing but a low first-round pick with no Clarkson, Nance, or Thomas.