Saturday, January 21, 2023

Analyst Goes Nuclear In Lakers Torrid Season: ‘This Is What Happens’

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In another hot season for the Los Angeles Lakers, they find themselves ranked 13th in the Western Conference and have little hope of qualifying for the postseason without the play-in tournament.

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Lakers are right where their roster mistakes should be blamed, and it’s understandable why Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka are reluctant to trade their futures for a team that doesn’t have a clear path to an NBA championship.

“That happens to bad teams. They’re five games under, six games under, whatever they’re under .500 because you can’t get your business done at the end of the games. Because Russ gets in traffic, and that’s why LeBron yells about the calls… If you yell about leadership, it’s because you need it all… I don’t blame Rob Pelinka… I don’t blame Jeanie Buss either, if They’re not trying to look to the future to try to get this team into the play-in tournament,” Windhorst said.

Lakers fans will be hoping the front office finds a way to improve the current rotation without giving up any of their 2027 or 2029 first-round draft picks before the Feb. 9 trade deadline.

According to Kendrick Perkins, speaking on a Jan. 19 episode of ESPN’s NBA Today, there’s a chance the Lakers will punish LeBron James with their reluctance to pull from their valuable draft asset after using his influence in pursuing Russell Westbrook had exercised .

“In my opinion, it almost feels like Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss are punishing LeBron for trading Russell Westbrook, which means, ‘You played a huge part in bringing Russell Westbrook here and we know that we have these two draft picks and we won’t trade them because you wanted him. You wanted him, Bron. So now you have to deal with it. You made your bed, you must lie in it'” said Perkins.

LeBron, 38, has been exceptional for the Lakers this season, averaging 29.8 points, 8.4 rebounds and 7 assists per game while shooting 50.9% from the field, 29% from perimeter and 76.4% from the free throw line shot. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that LeBron needs extra help to bring another championship back to Los Angeles.

During a recent conversation between a Western Conference executive and Heavy On Sports Sean Deveney, which took place on condition of anonymity, there is growing belief in the league that Jeanie Buss would prefer the Lakers to do business during the offseason.

“They’ve come this far without trading away the two picks (2027 and 2029) and it’s going to be very difficult to move Westbrook without including either of those picks in the deal. Many in the organization say, “We should trade picks and win now,” but some in the organization say, “Don’t sell the future.” And Jeanie Buss is in the second group, and that’s the most important thing,” the executive said.

The Lakers meet the Memphis Grizzlies on Jan. 20 and are hoping for another win of the season as they continue to look for an opportunity for a postseason appearance.

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