NBA insider insinuates that the Lakers have already given up this season

NBA insider insinuates that the Lakers have already given up this season

Updated: 5 months, 3 days, 8 hours, 6 minutes, 19 seconds ago

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 18: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers stands for the national anthem before their game against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center on October 18, 2022 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers are off to a horrible 0-4 start to the 2022-23 season and it has not been pretty. For the most part, the games have not even been competitive for the Lake Show and when they were leading late against the Portland Trail Blazers, Russell Westbrook decided to try an ill-advised two-for-one that cost them the game.

Many fans have already given up on this team until an eventual Russell Westbrook trade comes. Even if the trade itself is not great, just getting Westbrook off the roster and getting some semblance of a fresh start would ignite the fanbase.

The problem is that the team might not be committed to doing that this season. Brian Windhorst appeared on a recent episode of ESPN’s ‘Get Up’ and outlined how the Lakers view a potential Westbrook trade in comparison to this season.

And based on Windhorst’s comments, Lakers fans might have to accept that their team has given up on the idea of trading Westbrook unless something significant happens in the NBA to allow a big-name player to fall in LA’s slap.

“They are going to try and wait for the big one. They are not necessarily interested in a trade that would make them marginally better, get them to looking at maybe the seven, eight, nine seed. They want a trade that can take them up to contention. Obviously, in this league, that is hard to do. Obviously, that takes time.”

Windhorst continued later, saying that the team might not be looking at contending this season altogether and might be eyeing the 2023-24 season.

“The path is the 23-24 season. The Lakers, if we really want to be honest about it, and I do think they are being honest about it internally, their best bet may be to just wait until Russell Westbrook falls off the books, have $50 million in salary-cap space […] in the interim, they are just hoping that some of their players get back to shooting their career averages.”

Lakers fans might have to say goodbye to the championship window altogether.

In theory, this makes a lot of sense. It really would not make sense for the long-term future of the team to trade two future valuable picks for a marginal trade. Do we really want to see LA spend two picks on a duo like Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott, just so they can be the sixth seed (at best) in the Western Conference?

The problem with waiting though is that the face of the franchise is turning 38 this season. While he continues to defy what we thought we knew about age in basketball, there is going to be a point where LeBron James simply is not the same.

We are already seeing it in a different way. LeBron has been one of the most durable players in league history throughout his career and in the last two seasons, we have seen that motor break down a bit. He isn’t going to get less injury prone at age 39.

And that is the sad reality of the situation. After winning a championship in 2020, the Lakers had a legitimate chance to put together a four or five-year window of excellence. Instead, Rob Pelinka stripped the team of everything that made it a contender in the first place, capping it all off with the bad Russell Westbrook trade.

Do we really want to see another bad Russell Westbrook trade that puts them in the hole even further down the line? That is something that every fan has to ask themselves.