The Lakers – one of the most storied franchises in the entire NBA, a team that is used to winning titles and having the league’s best players on their roster is now the laughing stock of the NBA. Five years after their last championship and two years after their last playoff appearance, the Lakers look like a franchise without any vision for the future. The team was abysmal during the 2014-15 season, as there was not even a flash of being more than just a mediocre squad that can win more than thirty games. The bad news for all Laker fans is that things are not looking any better for the next campaign.
The purple and gold franchise could not attract even one game changing free agent in a summer where they had a lot of opportunities to do so – something that will definitely hurt them a lot during the season and in the future. The only significant signing was Lou Williams, who received a three-year, $21 million contract. Nevertheless, when you look at it closely, the Lakers added another guy who is offensive minded, on a team that already has Nick Young and Kobe Bryant in the backcourt. Furthermore, the Lakers managed to pull of some trades and acquired Roy Hibbert and Brandon Bass in exchange for Jordan Hill and Ed Davis. Those deals can be considered as upgrades, but Hibbert and Bass are not players who can carry the team to the playoffs.
The only bright spots for the Lakers are the two rookies – D’Angelo Russell, who was the number two pick in this year’s draft and Julius Randle, who got injured in last year’s opener. However, it will not be an easy campaign for the two youngsters, given how poor LA’s offense was structured last season. Russell is a player with a lot of potential and great court vision, but he will find it hard to showcase his talents in the Lakers’ anemic offense.
As a conclusion, the Lakers are about to start another boring and unfruitful season. There is no way that they are going to be able to finish among the top eight teams in the Western Conference, especially with the players on the roster. It will be hard to see a living legend like Kobe Bryant surrounded by such teammates in what is expected to be his last season in the NBA. Even though it is harsh to say it, the Lakers will most likely be better off without him, mostly because his huge contract will expire at the end of the season and the team will have a lot more financial freedom during next offseason.